Legionnaires’ outbreak update

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The latest reports from the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) on the Edinburgh Legionnaires’ disease outbreak show that there are now 36 confirmed cases and 44 suspected cases. 

This is an increase of eight in the total numbers of confirmed and a decrease of two suspected cases.

As at 12pm Saturday, of those cases being treated in hospital, 15 are in intensive care and 27 are in general wards.

A total of 16 cases are being treated in the community, 16 have been discharged from hospital and one person has sadly died.

Five cases are being treated outwith the NHS Lothian area.  One patient is being treated in the north of England, two in NHS Tayside, one in NHS Lanarkshire and one patient from NHS Highland is now being treated in Glasgow.  At this stage all these cases are considered to be linked to the south west Edinburgh outbreak.

The ages of the confirmed cases ranges between 33 and 76, with more males than females affected.  The Health and Safety Executive and Edinburgh City Council are continuing their investigations into the possible source of the outbreak.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Although there has been a rise in the number of confirmed cases, it is reassuring to see that the number of suspected cases is decreasing and that 16 people have now been discharged from hospital.

“NHS Lothian continue to be very busy and contact has been made with other health boards in case capacity at other hospitals is required. However at this stage NHS Lothian continue to cope extremely well with the demands being placed on services.

“Investigations are continuing into the source of this outbreak. However it is important to note that the risk to the general public remains low but anyone with concerns should contact their GP or NHS 24’s dedicated hotline on 0800 0858 531.

“I want to continue to stress that this bacteria is not passed on person to person or by drinking water.”

Dr Duncan McCormick, Chair of the IMT and Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lothian, said: “The number of patients with confirmed or suspected Legionnaires’ disease has continued to increase in line with our expectations.

“Our hospitals, GPs and out of hours services are doing an excellent job in responding to this outbreak and the increased pressure it has put on our services.

“Infection with Legionella mainly causes mild symptoms. If symptoms are more severe and include pneumonia then the patient will be diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease.

“Now that we are seeing more cases in the community with less severe symptoms, we have refined our recording of suspected cases to be only those suffering from pneumonia.”