Large outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Warstein, Germany

One of the largest outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease in Germany has resulted in 150 ill people and 2 deaths in Warstein. The source of the outbreak is thought to be the water treatment plant, probably from aerosols and mists created by water treatment. Legionnaires Disease can not be transmitted by drinking water.

Transmission of legionellosis (Legionnaires Disease) usually occurs following exposure to warm water aerosols since the bacteria are inhaled through water droplets in water sprays or mists. Exposure can occur in or around hot tubs, showers, or from air conditioning systems in buildings with poorly maintained cooling towers.Travellers who develop serious respiratory symptoms after being in air conditioned buildings or other environments that generate sprays in the outbreak area should seek medical care as soon as possible.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Legionnaires' Disease.

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