Hong Kong faces Legionnaires' fears

03 Jan 2012

The new headquarters building for the Hong Kong government contains bacteria which has been a cause of Legionnaires' disease in the past, it emerged.

The £432 million facility was checked for the bacteria following an incident last month, which saw the education secretary experience the illness.

Bathroom water samples taken from the new office discovered traces of legionella bacteria up to 14 times higher than the current acceptable levels, with nine in 31 samples containing the bacteria.

In light of these findings, Hong Kong authorities have said they now intend to disinfect the new headquarters.

Among the early symptoms of Legionnaires' disease are a cough and a high fever. Warm water can carry the bacteria, which cause the disease.

The problems in Hong Kong follow a similar incident at the Playboy Mansion grotto in Los Angeles, where people fell ill following a fundraising event.

Copyright Press Association 2012



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