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Euro Surveill. 2009 Oct 8;14(40). pii: 19348.

Legionnaires' disease cluster linked to a metal product aqueous pre-treatment process, Staffordshire, England, May 2008.

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Health Protection Agency, West Midlands North, Stafford, United Kingdom.


In May 2008, a report of two workers from the same construction equipment manufacturing plant who were admitted to hospital with Legionnaires disease confirmed by urine antigen prompted an outbreak investigation. Both cases were middle aged men, smokers, and with no travel, leisure or other common community exposure to Legionella sources. There were no wet cooling towers at the plant or in the surrounding area. No increase in respiratory disease or worker absenteeism occurred at the plant during the preceding month. Wider case ascertainment including alerts to hospitals and medical practitioners yielded no further cases. The environmental investigation (and sampling of water systems for Legionella) identified a Legionella pneumophila serogroup1 (Mab 2b) count of >3.0x10(4)cfu/l in water samples from an aqueous metal pre-treatment tunnel, which generates profuse water aerosol. Drainage, cleaning and biocide treatment using thiazalone eliminated Legionella from the system.

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