Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It is usually caused by breathing in the mist from hot tubs, showers or air conditioning units, cooling towers contaminated by Legionella. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches and a high fever. It usually develops 2 to 14 days after exposure
Edinburgh, Scotland-- An outbreak of legionellosis in Edinburgh, Scotland, first reported by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) on June 3rd, is still under investigation by HPS, the Lothian NHS board and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Between May 16 and June 7th, one death, 46 probable cases and 28 confirmed Legionnaires disease cases had been linked to the outbreak. Over 40 cases have been hospitalized.
Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Laboratory Director, Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) indicated “generally speaking, Legionella bacteria can multiply in indoor water systems, such as hot tubs, air conditioners, fountains, mist sprayers in any resort and facility if not effectively treated and maintained. The bacteria can cause significant health implications to those affected.”
The majority of Edinburgh Legionella cases were resident in the Stenhouse area, south west of the city. An environmental source of infection was suspected of causing the outbreak and, following initial investigations by HSE and Scottish environmental health officers, 16 cooling towers on four sites in the area were inspected and underwent treatment as a precautionary measure.