Portuguese Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak – 5 dead & 200+ more infected

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Portugal has killed five people with a reported 230 more infected and several in intensive care.

The authorities have yet to identify the source of the Legionella bacteria, however it is likely to be within the district of Vila Franca de Xira, about 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Lisbon, where the greatest concentration of the cases have been found.

One local source has reported that Legionella bacteria have been found in a cooling tower in the area, however the authorities are still investigating all other potential sources.

There will doubtless be lessons to learn about Legionella control as a result of this sad event.