Data released by Health authorities highlight the growing number of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Ireland, with a record level of the potentially fatal infections notified last year.
The new figures show that the number of cases reported more than doubled in 2017 to 25, resulting in four deaths. This was above the historical trend and represented the highest levels since figures were recorded in 2000.
The annual trend over the last six years indicates that the number of Legionnaires’ disease notifications has been increasing over time, possibly influenced by factors including increased levels of international travel and improved disease reporting processes.
With the warm weather enjoyed this year, where water systems will have typically been warmer than normal, there has been an associated increased risk of elevated Legionella bacteria counts in water systems which are not properly controlled. The effects of this warm weather will only show when the updated statistics are released next year.