There are no further cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the Sydney CBD outbreak.
A woman aged in her thirties is recovering at Prince of Wales Hospital; a man in his eighties is stable at Royal North Shore Hospital; and another woman in her thirties is in a critical condition at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Environmental health teams have now inspected and tested 58 cooling towers in the area of interest. Field operations continue today and laboratory results are expected next week.
Legionnaires’ disease case reporting peaks in the summer and autumn months. Case reports have been reasonably stable in the past 5 years with 70-100 cases reported.
There have been 42 cases reported in the first four months of 2016 which is only slightly higher than the five-year average of 37 cases. Of the 42 cases, 28 cases have been due to the Legionella pneumophila strain responsible for the recent outbreaks. This compares to 29 Legionella pneumophila cases reported for the same period in 2015.
In recent years, doctors in NSW have had access to improved tests for diagnosing Legionnaires’ disease and so are more able to accurately diagnose patients who present with this illness. Recent alerts to doctors and the public have probably also contributed to increased detection of cases. Increased detection of cases allows early recognition of outbreaks and more timely investigation of potential sources.
The NSW Health Legionella working group is reviewing surveillance practices and will consider any new measures required to strengthen prevention and control activities.
For further information on Legionnaires’ disease visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/Legionnaires_disease.aspx
Media contact: NSW Health Public Affairs team 02 9391 9121, firstname.lastname@example.org or AH 02 9962 9890