02/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 10:01

Edinburgh Legionnaires' outbreak: Hope for 'drop-off' in cases

Category: Scotland

Published: 8th Jun 2012 10:32:06

It is hoped the number of cases of Legionnaires' disease in the Edinburgh outbreak will drop off in the coming days, according to Scotland's chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns.

However, he said that would only be the case if cooling towers in the south west of the city had correctly been identified as the source.

A total of 61 cases have so far been confirmed or are suspected.

One man - 56-year-old Robert Air - has died in the outbreak.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced a further 10 new cases in a media statement on Thursday afternoon.

She said one of the patients was being treated in the Highlands and one was being treated in the north of England.

The outbreak covers areas in the south west of the city and health officials believe it is connected to an outdoor source, possibly a cooling tower.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Sir Harry Burns said: "Typically it takes six to ten days for the disease to incubate.

"So they (the cooling towers) were treated last weekend, you would hope that in the course of the next few days we would begin to see a drop-off in the number of cases, and if that is observed then we can be more confident that these cooling towers are the source.

"If it doesn't happen then clearly there is a more complicated background to this and further investigations will be required."

The BBC understands tests have been carried out at four sites.

They include the cooling towers at:

Scotland's chief medical officer also said the cases presenting to hospitals over the past few days had been "less severe".

He added: "It may be that people who are developing symptoms now have had more resistance to the growth of the bug and their immunity is keeping it under check.

"More people have been discharged from hospital. More people are being managed in the community.

"The reality of this kind of disease is that many people will have symptoms of a cold and they will never be unwell enough to be tested for Legionella."

Residents are being leafleted with information on the disease and what they should do if they are worried they could be at risk.

GPs have been provided with information on spotting the signs of infection and a dedicated NHS helpline has been set up on 0800 0858 531.

It is believed that more than 100 people have contacted the special line.

Have you been affected by the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Edinburgh? Send us your comments using the form below

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Edinburgh Legionnaires' outbreak: Hope for 'drop-off' in cases [Online] (Updated 8th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433423/Edinburgh-Legionnaires-outbreak-Hope-for-drop-off-in-cases [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Former Stranraer ferry terminal site interest heats up

    Inquiry levels from developers looking at taking over Stranraer's former ferry terminal site have been revealed.
  • Large barn fire contaminates River Culm with fuel

    A river has been contaminated with fuel after a large barn fire in Clayhidon, Devon, the fire service said.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Survivor singer Jimi Jamison dies aged 63

    Jimi Jamison, the lead singer for US rock band Survivor, who sang the theme tune for hit TV series Baywatch, has died aged 63.
  • Survivor singer Jimi Jamison dies aged 63

    Jimi Jamison, the lead singer for US rock band Survivor, who sang the theme tune for hit TV series Baywatch, has died aged 63.
  • Brain 'can be trained to prefer healthy food'

    The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry, suggests a study from the US.