It’s been released that 6 adults have been diagnosed with legionaries’ disease with all cases geographically linked to a south-central London neighbourhood that hasn’t been named.
The article written by Andrew Lupton for CBC News explains how Dr. Alex Summers, Middlesex-London Health Unit’s associate medical officer of health, says they’ve been investigating the cases for the past few weeks.
“We have been investigating a cluster of legionella cases that are highly geographically located,” he said. “They’re all in a similar neighbourhood and when we see an outbreak such as this, we are concerned about a potential common environmental source.”
Summers said legionella exists in the environment, particularly in wet locations, but he said the number of cases clustered around one specific area is what raised red flags.
Legionnaires’ disease varies in its severity and can be fatal.
Legionella bacteria are found in water sources, and can survive for several months in an aquatic environment – especially in warm water or when algae and organic matter are present.
The bacteria may also do well in household devices, particularly those that produce mist — shower heads and humidifiers, for instance. People may become ill if they inhale steam or mist containing the bacteria that causes legionnaires’ disease, but they cannot pass an infection on to others.
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