Published August 26, 2012 | 2:11 pm
Montreal : In what is being termed as deadly outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Canada in 25 years the Quebec’s public health authority announced that Legionnaires’ disease had caused two more deaths , while infecting 104 people so far.
At least 104 people have been infected and eight killed by the disease so far. On Sunday, authorities from the city’s public health board said the 69 cooling towers believed to be behind the outbreak have been disinfected. But more cases of the infection are expected to surface throughout the week, officials said. Provincial inspectors have taken water samples from 62 buildings, while disinfecting them with bromine to kill any bacteria lurking inside. Still, it might take another month before tests results identify cooling towers that might have been breeding grounds for the bacteria. What’s more, authorities do not yet know whether the cooling towers — and not some other source — are behind the outbreak.
What is Legionnaire’s disease : Legionnaire’s disease is a non-contagious respiratory illness that is caused when one breathes in air droplets or mist contaminated with the Legionella bacteria from vents. Initial symptoms include a high fever and muscle pain. Once it enters one’s lungs, a persistent cough develops, along with chest pains, a high fever and chills. Other symptoms could include shortness of breath as well as vomiting and diarrhea.
The bacteria are commonly found in lakes and rivers, but the potentially fatal bug can sometimes get into artificial water supply systems like air conditioning and cooling towers. The bacteria thrive in temperatures between 25C and 42C, usually in the summer and fall.