Another legionella patient has been admitted to a hospital near Ghent, bringing the total count of known cases of the outbreak —which has already claimed two lives— up to 18.
The news of the most recent admission comes after the sudden outbreak claimed its second victim on Wednesday.
The source of infection has not yet been identified, but the fact that the newest patient is, like most others, also from the town of Evergem, near Ghent, would confirm initial suspicions that the outbreak originated around that area.
No details have been so far given on the state of the newest patient.
“We are busy gathering more information about the newest patient,” the Flanders Agency for Care and Health told la Dernière Heure. “We are trying to determine what this means for the ongoing outbreak.”
In a previous statement this week, the agency said that out of the cases so-far reported, six have been discharged and seven more are showing signs of improvement, while two more remain in intensive care — one of them in critical condition.
The legionella bacteria develops primarily in warm and stagnant water and can lead to Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever.
A spokesperson for the agency said that legionella symptoms can take up to 17 days to appear, but that most people manifested symptoms within ten days.