Share article:
Share article:

Source of Legionella infections found, but not disclosed

The public prosecutor's office is waiting for the results of the Agency for Care and Health's investigation. Credit: Wikipedia

The source of Legionella infections in and around Evergem has been found, reported the Care and Health Agency during a press conference.

“The public prosecutor has started a criminal investigation and the investigating judge has asked us to respect the confidentiality of the ongoing investigation, which is why we will not disclose the name of the company that caused the infection,” said Joris Moonens of the Agency for Care and Health.

32 people have been infected with the Legionella bacteria in recent weeks, and two of them died from the effects.

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.

Earlier investigations had found the bacteria in five companies in the canal zone in Ghent. Additional genetic testing of bacteria found in patients and the companies made it possible to link the Legionella of the patients to a specific company.

The involved company disinfected its cooling installation after the inspection by the Agency for Care and Health, after which no more bacteria were found. The latest infection dates from last Saturday (25 May), but the incubation period for the infection can run up to 19 days, so new cases could still turn up until over the first week of June.

“The investigation is in the hands of the investigating judge now, because of the formal complaints by the two mayors of Ghent and Evergem. They will check whether criminal offences have been committed, and whether all the measures that should have been taken, were actually taken,” said Annelies Verstraete of the East Flanders Public Prosecutor’s Office. “If there are criminal offences who can ultimately be held responsible there,” she added.

The public prosecutor’s office is first waiting for the results of the Agency for Care and Health’s investigation.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...