A new case of infection reported on Tuesday brings the count of legionella patients up to 24, as regional authorities narrow down their search for the source of the sudden outbreak, ongoing for weeks near Ghent.
The new patient is a man who first exhibited symptoms of infection on Friday, according to media reports.
The Flanders Agency for Care and Health said the man is not in critical condition from contracting the infection, which has already claimed two lives since contamination cases were first reported at the start of May.
As the count of infected patients accelerates, the Agency reported Monday that it was narrowing down its search for the possible sources of contamination to the water coolers of two local companies, out of the 17 whose water it sampled in search of the bacteria.
The Agency said that the samples from the two companies showed high numbers of bacteria, but that further tests were needed to determine whether the strain found in the samples matched the one causing the outbreak.
Despite the admission of a new patient on Tuesday, regional health authorities have said that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the source of the infection is still active, as symptoms can take up to 19 days to appear.
Four out of the thirteen patients still in the hospital are in intensive care after contracting the infection, while nine others have been discharged.