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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Sixth case of Legionnaires’ disease investigated

A sixth case of Legionnaires’ disease is being investigated by health officials after another patient was admitted to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashton.

By Amy Willis
Published: 7:00AM BST 19 Aug 2009, The Daily Telegraph

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed they are now leading an inquiry into six cases of legionella infection in East Kent. This latest case is a man in his 60s who is said to be in a serious but stable condition.

Three of the cases, one of whom was an inpatient, have been linked to the William Harvey Hospital although no links have been found with the latest case.

Two weeks ago Kevin Carroll, 50, from Dover, died from the disease after being admitted to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital which is also run by the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust. The HPA has said he was suffering from a separate strain of the disease.

Dr Mathi Chandrakumar(COR), director of the Kent Health Protection Unit, said: “We are still working closely with our partners in the NHS to try and identify the source of these infections. This includes investigating all places each person visited in the two weeks before they fell ill.”

Legionnaires’ disease is caught by inhaling water droplets which carry the Legionella bacterium.

Early symptoms include a flu-like illness with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever. The incubation period is usually between two days and two weeks. It cannot be spread from one person to another.

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Filed under: Portfolio, UK News

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