30th person contracts legionella in East Flanders

A 30th person has contracted legionella in the Evergem area of East Flanders. The news of the number of people that have been infected in the legionella outbreak having reached 30 has been confirmed by Joris Moonens of the Flemish Care and Health Agency. The patient, a man, first became ill on Wednesday 22 May. He is not in intensive care. 

Last week two people died of Legionnaires’ disease. 10 people are currently recovering from legionella at home, while 18 others are being treated in hospital. Four of those receiving hospital treatment are in intensive care. However, their condition is not life-threatening.   

Legionella pneumophila has been found in the cooling towers five companies along the Ghent to Terneurzen Canal. In the case of two companies high concentrations were found. This is the strain of legionella that those that have become ill have contracted.  

The samples from the five companies are undergoing examination at a specialised lab. If the lab finds that the bacteria are a complete genetic match with the bacteria found on those that have become infected, there will be certainty about the source of the infection.  

The results are expected on 3rd June. A disinfection operation is currently taking place at the companies where Legionella pneumophila was found.

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