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24 September 2018 Tamworth Legionnaires' disease cases 'may be linked

posted 25 Sept 2018, 07:08 by Ian Clarenbone

Health experts are examining six cases of Legionnaires' diseases in Tamworth which could be linked to a "common source".

Two patients are "recovering" from the illness, caused by bacteria commonly associated with water systems, Public Health England (PHE) said. It is also examining four other cases in the town over the past six months, where the patients have recovered. Experts are taking detailed histories of where the people visited.

Dr David Kirrage, lead consultant with PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, said: "While we do not currently have a direct link between these cases, the evidence we have points to the possibility that there is a common source."

Dr Kirrage said they were looking to see whether a common local source of infection would be found. He said Legionnaires' disease was a rare but "potentially life-threatening illness", which cannot be passed from person to person.

"As a precaution we are working with the Health and Safety Executive and Tamworth Borough Council to identify and control any possible sources of the disease," he said.

Early symptoms include a flu-like illness with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches and fever which can lead to pneumonia.