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Epidemiol Infect. 1989 Oct;103(2):285-92.

Legionnaires' disease and the sick-building syndrome.

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PHLS Communicable Surveillance Disease Centre, London.


In October 1985, six cases of legionnaires' disease were associated with a police headquarters building. Four were amongst staff who worked in or visited the communications wing of the headquarters and two cases occurred in the local community. A case-control study implicated the operations room of the communications wing as the main area associated with infection. This wing was air-conditioned and smoke tracer studies showed that drift from the exhaust as well as from the base of the cooling tower entered the main air-intake which serviced the air-conditioning system. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 subgroup pontiac was isolated from water and sludge in the cooling tower pond. Contaminated drift from the top of the cooling tower was probably responsible for the two community cases. An additional discovery was that symptoms suggestive of the sick-building syndrome were associated with working in this wing.

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