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Palmanova Legionnaire's outbreak 'under control': 24 cases reported
LEGIONNAIRE'S cases reported in Palmanova (Mallorca) have risen to 24 after another two were confirmed this week, according to the General Directorate of Public Health, which has to be informed whenever a contagious or infectious condition is diagnosed.
The outbreak was detected in late September and early October, is believed to have been contained in one location and was declared as 'under control' by October 19, according to the Balearic Island regional government.
Although the public health office says further cases are likely to be reported, they are expected to be those already caught prior to this date and recently diagnosed, rather than new incidences.
Investigations continue, and as yet the full results have not been made available.
Both the cases reported on Thursday are said to have been contracted by the patients prior to the middle of October, and it is not thought that anyone is likely to catch it now.
The Legionnaire's cases are believed to be what is known as a 'community outbreak', affecting residents in the town of Palmanova rather than those who have been inside a given hotel, public building or other premises.
Of the 24 reported cases, one of these has led to death.
Some of the patients have been tourists from other EU member States who were diagnosed upon their return.
Authorities in the Balearics have advised anyone living in or travelling to the area who experiences respiratory problems within two weeks of returning from Palmanova to seek medical help, especially if they are immune-deficient, over 50 or smoke.
Anyone who has been in Palmanova between late September and approximately October 19 should remain vigilant and see their doctor if they suffer any unusual symptoms, says the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Legionnaire's is not contagious or infectious, meaning there is no risk of humans catching it from each other – it can only be caught from exposure to the Legionnella bacteria.
Typical sources are air-conditioning units, refrigeration systems or other man-made water networks.
As yet, the Palmanova source has not been found.
Although the UK Foreign Office website warns of the outbreak in Palmanova, with the regional government now confident it is under control and confirming that no patients are known to have caught the disease since October 19, it is not thought travelling to the area poses a risk any longer.
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
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