More Legionnaires' cases confirmed

29 Jul 2013

Health officials in Scotland say two new cases of Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed in the Renfrew area.

A total of eight patients have now been confirmed as suffering from the disease since the infection was first detected .

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said the two latest patients were responding well to treatment at home.

All those previously affected have since made a full recovery, the health service said. Each of the patients is said to have had a direct or indirect link to the Renfrew area.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by bacteria in water supplies and can be spread through water cooling towers, air conditioning units and showers.

The NHSGGC said its public health protection unit was working with the Health and Safety Executive, Health Protection Scotland, Renfrewshire Council and other local authorities to identify a possible source for the infection.

All active water cooling towers in the area have been treated with chemicals that kill the legionella bacteria as a precaution. A number of towers have been also sampled for the disease.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that a previous outbreak of Legionnaires' disease cost the NHS almost three-quarters of a million pounds.

The outbreak in Edinburgh last year caused four deaths, with 45 people treated in hospital.

Hospitals and office blocks can be more vulnerable to a legionella outbreak because they often house larger water supply systems in which the bacteria can spread quickly.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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