herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Towers shut as mystery Legionnaire cases hit 74

There are now 74 confirmed and suspected cases of Legionnaires' disease amid an outbreak in the Scottish capital.

It also emerged that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has served an improvement notice on an Edinburgh company for alleged failures to adequately control the risk of Legionella in a cooling tower.

The notice was served on the North British Distillery Company and refers to a tower in Wheatfield Road in Edinburgh.

An HSE statement said the firm has already taken all three of its cooling towers at the site out of operation. Issuing the improvement notice does not mean the tower concerned is where the outbreak originated.



Possible

The search for the source of the disease outbreak has centred on cooling towers at four sites in the south-west of the city, which have been "shock-treated" with chemicals.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said it is "not always possible to conclusively determine the precise source of an outbreak".

She said the increase in cases had been expected.

Twenty-eight people have now been confirmed as having Legionnaires' disease and another 46 are suspected of having it.

So far one man has died, named locally as 56-year-old Robert Air, from Edinburgh.

Fourteen people are in intensive care, a further 30 are in general hospital wards, 15 are being treated in the community and 10 have already been discharged from hospital.

hnews@herald.ie

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