Another person infected with legionella has been admitted to a hospital near Ghent, bringing the total count of known cases of the outbreak up to 19, with more expected. The new patient – who began displaying symptoms on 13 May – was admitted to the AZ Jan-Palfijn in Ghent.
His life is not currently in danger from the disease, which has already claimed two lives in the past week, according to reports.
“The patient needs to be further questioned, but we count him as a nineteenth patient in the outbreak around the Evergem region,” said Joris Moonen of Agency for Care and Health.
“This confirms our expectation that more patients will be added to this outbreak,” added Moonen.
Legionella is a bacterial infection which takes various forms, the most common being Legionella pneumophila, which has an effect like pneumonia. The illness is commonly referred to as Legionnaires’ Disease, so called because the first recorded outbreak, in the US in 1976, took place at a convention of the American Legion. The disease infected 221 people, 34 of whom died.
The Brussels Times