Renfrew Legionnaires’ disease total up to five

Five people from the greater Glasgow area have now been admitted to hospital with Legionnaires' disease. Picture: TSPL

Five people from the greater Glasgow area have now been admitted to hospital with Legionnaires' disease. Picture: TSPL

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TWO more people have been admitted to hospital with Legionnaires’ Disease in the greater Glasgow area, taking the number of confirmed cases to five.

• Legionnaires’ disease cases in greater Glasgow rise to five after two more people admitted to hospital

• Two patients are responding well to treatment in hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde say

• All cases being linked to Renfrew area

A possible link to Renfrew is being investigated by public health authorities after it emerged that all five people being treated for the disease had some connection with the area.

The outbreak comes just over a year after three people died and more than a hundred were treated after an outbreak of

Legionnaire’s Disease in the west of Edinburgh.

Investigations are ongoing in Renfrew to try to trace a possible source of the latest outbreak, which cannot be passed from person to person, but is often linked to an environmental cause – such as inadequately cleaned cooling towers.

Health experts in Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the two most recent cases follow another three cases which were reported last week.

The two patients are being treated in hospital and are responding well to treatment, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said.

Two of the patients diagnosed last week have already been released from hospital while the third is described as in a stable condition and responding well to treatment.

Two of the five cases live in the Renfrew area and the other three have either visited or worked there during the two-week incubation period 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.

“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 6km radius of the homes of the Renfrew cases, which follows national guidance on the investigation of such cases.”

The Edinburgh outbreak last summer led to the deaths of three men among 101 confirmed and suspected cases.

Although public health bodies carried out a survey of cooling towers in the area the source of the outbreak was never identified.

Last month, one of the victims of the Edinburgh outbreak called for a public inquiry – saying too many questions had been left unanswered.

John McLaren, who lives in Gorgie was admitted to hospital in May last year and is believed to have been the first Edinburgh resident diagnosed with the disease in the 2012 outbreak.

Th 64-year-old, who spent three weeks in intensive care said: “I’m just so incredibly frustrated by the lack of information. Right from the start there seems to have been a wall of silence. None of the authorities have ever given us real information.

“I hate to think about something similar happening again, but how can we learn lessons if no information is being shared.”

Legionnaires’ disease is an uncommon but serious form of pneumonia, caused by bacteria distributed widely in natural and artificial water supplies.

The symptoms include headache, fever, dry cough, breathing difficulties, stomach pains and diarrhoea.

The health board said water cooling towers in the Renfrewshire area are being treated with chemicals as a precautionary measure.

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