Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention photo)

Health authority still looking for source of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Guildford

Fraser Authority awaiting test results

The Fraser Health Authority is still trying to identify the source of the Legionnaires’ disease bacteria, called Legionella, that resulted in a public bulletin being issued on Aug. 31st about a “cluster of cases” in Guildford.

“They’re waiting for some lab test results to come back,” Tasleem Juma, spokeswoman for Fraser Health, told the Now-Leader on Monday afternoon.

“Public Health is still working on identifying the source of the bacteria,” she noted. “In terms of the August 21 date, the incubation period for the bacteria is two to 10 days, so my understanding is that August 21 gives people an approximate date of when exposure may have happened. It is only meant as a point of reference.”

READ ALSO: Cluster cases of Legionnaires’ disease confirmed in Surrey

The bulletin stated Public Health had been “made aware of a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease in the Guildford area of Surrey” and recommended that anyone with pneumonia-like symptoms who smokes, is elderly, has a compromised immune system or suffers from chronic lung conditions and had been in Guildford within 10 days of Aug. 21st to see a doctor “for testing, advise, and treatment.”

It can be contracted by breathing in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacterium, the bulletin notes. Most healthy people don’t get the disease after being exposed. Those who do can develop pneumonia, fever, shortness of breathe, severe fatigue, abdominal pain and diarrhea.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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