In full: Legionnaires’ disease outbreak statement

Total confirmed and suspected cases of Legionnaires' disease has risen to 74
Total confirmed and suspected cases of Legionnaires' disease has risen to 74
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READ the full statement on Legionnaires’ outbreak as total number of suspected and confirmed cases rise to 74

The latest reports from the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) on the Edinburgh Legionnaires’ disease outbreak show that there are now 28 confirmed cases and 46 suspected cases. This is an increase of 13 on the total numbers of confirmed and suspected cases.

As at 12pm today, of those cases being treated in hospital, 14 were in intensive care and 30 are on general wards.

A total of 15 cases are being treated in the community, ten have been discharged from hospital and one person has sadly died.

Four cases are being treated outwith the NHS Lothian area. A patient who was yesterday being treated in NHS Highland has now been transferred to Glasgow, one patient is being treated in the north of England, one in NHS Tayside and one in NHS Lanarkshire. 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.

As of 10pm yesterday, NHS 24 had received 492 calls to the dedicated helpline for Legionnaires’ disease.

The Health and Safety Executive and Edinburgh City Council are continuing their investigations into the possible source of the outbreak. The HSE has today served an Improvement Notice on one of the companies responsible for one of the cooling towers which is being investigated, although this does not mean that this tower has been identified as the source of the outbreak.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “As we expected, we have seen a rise in the number of cases associated with this outbreak today. It is reassuring to see that ten people have now been discharged from hospital.

“NHS Lothian continues to be very busy and contact has been made with other health boards in case capacity at other hospitals is required.

“The fact remains 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 stress that this bacteria is not passed on person to person or by drinking water.

“Investigations into the source of this outbreak are continuing. It is important to note that in issuing an Improvement Notice, the HSE does not believe there is an immediate risk to workers or members of the public. Nor can it be assumed that this tower is the source of the outbreak.

“Investigations into all of the other towers in the area are continuing.”

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 increased since yesterday. This is exactly in line with what we expected and what we have predicted so far, based on the first presentation of patients and the incubation period of Legionnaires’ disease which is between two and 14 days, but usually has an average of five to six days.

“We expect that the numbers of patients affected will peak over the weekend and then begin to fall as we move into the beginning of next week.

“The majority of patients who are presenting now are also on the lower end of the sickness scale and are therefore more likely to be treated in the community with appropriate care than be admitted into hospital, meaning that they are also unlikely to have underlying health conditions.”