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Saturday 24th August 2019

Legionnaires' outbreak in Edinburgh

6th June 2012

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Edinburgh has caused one death and 17 cases of the illness have been confirmed.


NHS Lothian said a 50-year-old man, who had other health issues, has died and there are 17 confirmed and 15 suspected cases of the disease.

Thirteen men and two women are in a critical condition and are being treated in intensive care in hospitals in the area.

The trust said most of the cases were associated with the Saughton, Gorgie or Dairy parts of Edinburgh.

Doctors confirmed the first case on 28 May.

People contract the disease by breathing drops of water which are contaminated with the Legionella bacteria.

NHS Lothian's Dr Duncan McCormick said they were hopeful they had found the source of the outbreak, which they believed to be located in industrial cooling towers in the south west of the city.

"I would like to reassure the public that household water supplies are safe and that Legionnaires' disease cannot be contracted by drinking water," he added.

"Older people, particularly men, heavy smokers and those with other health conditions, are at greater risk of contracting the disease. I would urge anyone who develops symptoms of Legionnaires' disease to contact NHS 24 or their GP."


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