Following the Edinburgh Legionella Outbreak, the latest sequel of Scottish outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease appears to involve the same key cast members – Cooling Towers.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has confirmed five cases of Legionnaires’ Disease. Two of the five people are reported to live in Renfrew, while the other three have either visited or worked there during the two-week incubation of the disease.
All cooling towers within a 6km (4 mile) radius of the homes of the two patients from Renfrew, the town at the centre of this latest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, have been chemically treated and samples taken from a number of the towers in line with national guidance
In total, fourteen cooling towers are reported to have been sampled and disinfected around Renfrew.
The question is, why Scotland?
Do the Scots have a higher number of cooling towers per capita than the rest of the UK? Is it something to do with the climate or are there elements of cultural behaviour within the industrial sector there that lead to more risks being taken with the management of Legionella bacteria?
These are all questions that the HSE investigators and the Scottish Health Board will be considering in the weeks to come.