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8 January 2020 A new-born is believed to have been the first victim of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a Pimlico apartment block.

posted 9 Jan 2020, 04:19 by Ian Clarenbone

Three people in three months are known to have contacted the potentially deadly lung infection at Dolphin Square. Today it emerged that a five-day-old boy fell ill in a one-bedroom rented flat in Beatty House, part of the Dolphin Square complex, on February 8 last year. The boy’s parents, who have asked to remain anonymous, have launched legal action against Dolphin Square alleging breach of the duty of care.

He spent almost two months in hospital, where his condition became critical and he was transferred to Great Ormond Street. For several weeks it was not known whether he would survive. Whilst receiving treatment at GOSH, it was found that Legionella bacterium was causing his illness.

The boy’s father contacted landlords Dolphin Square Ltd on March 4. Four days later, Public Health England found a “high concentration” of legionella in the bathroom sink and shower.

The boy responded to treatment and has left hospital. But he remains under the care of consultants and his long-term condition is unknown. The family moved out in September. The boy’s parents said: “It was every parent’s worst nightmare to have our baby fall so ill just a few days after being born.”

Concern about Legionnaire’s disease at Dolphin Square, where there are about 1,200 flats in 12 blocks, first emerged last June, and Public Health England declared an outbreak in July.

Joseph Dawson, from law firm Leigh Day, said: “It has been a terrifying time for my clients and we are now hoping to get them some answers.”

 Dolphin Square said it does not comment on matters involving residents. It has conducted two estate-wide inspections of the water system.