A 30th person has shown symptoms of Legionellosis — also known as the Legionaries’ disease — in Evergem (near Ghent, East Flanders), announced today the Flemish Agency for Health.
The man complained of signs of a Legionella infection on Wednesday (22 May) and was hospitalized but is not in intensive care.
On 13 and 15 May, two people died in Ghent in two different hospitals after contracting the Legionnaires’ disease in Evergem, where the precise source of contamination has not yet been identified.
18 people are currently in hospital for the same reason, of which four in intensive care though their life is not threatened.
The Legionella Pneumophila bacterium, developing in some people the disease that can be fatal for frail subjects, was detected in the cooling towers of five companies located along the canal in the area suspected of being the source of contamination. On two of these sites, the concentration of this type of Legionella is considered high.
Samples from these five companies are currently subject to genetic analysis in a specialized laboratory.
The genetic profile of the bacteria must then be compared with the detected patients. The comparison may possibly give an indication as to the exact source of the recent wave of this illness. Results are expected around 3 June, but the companies have ensured since the disinfection of their sites.