Two further cases of Legionnaire’s Disease have been confirmed in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
This brings the number of confirmed cases to five.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Public Health Protection Unit (PHPU) together with the Health and Safety Executive, Health Protection Scotland and local authority partners have been investigating the cases to identify any possible sources of the disease.
These investigations have established that all five cases have had some direct or indirect connection to the Renfrew area and we are now focusing on this area for any possible of sources of the disease.
Dr Gillian Penrice, NHSGGC Consultant in Public Health, said: “Through our detailed interviews with the five cases we have established that they have all had some connection to the Renfrew area. So far Renfrew appears to be the only common factor that we have identified between the cases. As such we are focusing our further investigations in this area for any possible sources of the disease.”
“Two of the five cases live in the Renfrew area and the other three cases have either visited or worked there during the two week incubation period of the disease.”
The two new cases are being treated in hospital and are responding well to treatment.
Previously, we reported three individuals had received inpatient treatment at different hospitals in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. Two have recovered and been discharged and the third is responding well to treatment and remains in a stable condition in hospital.
Dr Penrice added: “We are working closely with our partners in Renfrewshire Council, other local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive and Health Protection Scotland to investigate possible sources.
“These investigations include visiting all water cooling towers within a six km radius of the homes of the Renfrew cases which follows national guidance on the investigation of such cases.
“As a precautionary measure to prevent any possible further cases, water cooling towers in these areas are being proactively treated with chemicals that kill the Legionaella bacteria. Samples are also being taken however due to the complex laboratory processes used to confirm or identify Legionella the results of these samples will not been known for some time.
“It is important to remember that Legionella cannot be spread from person to person.
“Legionella cannot be contracted by drinking contaminated water and residents in the Renfrew area should continue to drink water and prepare food in the normal way.”
Legionella bacteria is spread through aerosols produced from water, such as water cooling towers, air conditioning and showers.
The symptoms and signs of Legionnaires’ Disease include headache, fever, dry cough, breathing difficulties, stomach pains and diarrhoea. I would like to advise anyone currently with these symptoms to contact NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 or their own GP.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]
Notes to editors
Why are water cooling towers investigated during outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease?
Cooling towers are heat removal devices used to transfer ‘process waste heat’ to the atmosphere.
Cooling towers are commonly used for cooling the circulating water used in oil refineries, petrochemical and other chemical and industrial plants.
Cooling towers, whilst not the only source, are a common of source of Legionella outbreaks.