11 people infected with legionella in East Flanders

11 people have been hospitalised after having become infected with the legionella bacteria in the Evergem area of East Flanders.  The Care and Health Agency has told VRT News that it is currently carrying out an investigation into the source of the infection.  

 

The 11 people that have become infected are being treated in local hospitals. All those infected became ill in the week between 29 April and 6 May.

In a press statement the Care and Health Agency’s Joris Moonens says  "As all those that have fallen ill did so in a relatively short space of time we assume that the source of the legionella infection is now under control. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely”.  

“As it can take up to 19 days before a person that has been infected with legionella starts to become ill, it could well be the case that there are more patients that have been in contact with the source”.  

Legionella is a bacteria that can develop in (drinking) water systems. Infection occurs by inhaling very small droplets of water containing the bacteria that enter the air when the water condenses for example when taking a shower.

"We currently have no indication as to what the source of the infection could be. Often a source can no longer be traced if the timespan of legionella infection was short”.