Edinburgh Legionnaires': Professor calls for inquiry
Published: 7th Aug 2012 17:17:07
A leading professor has called for a public inquiry into a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Edinburgh.
Prof Hugh Pennington said the formal route was necessary due to concern that too few inspections are being carried out at potential sources.
The disease has claimed the lives of three men since it first emerged at the end of May and is thought to have been caused by a cooling tower in the city.
More than 100 people have been treated as either confirmed or suspected cases.
Prof Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said: "It's a nasty bug, the infection is preventable and it's a very expensive thing to treat when it happens.
"Spending more money on the regulatory side, making sure businesses have their cooling towers in order, would be money well spent."
"This is not a new problem, a public inquiry would be the most effective way to establish the facts and to prevent yet more outbreaks."
Prof Pennington has joined the Scottish Labour party in calling for the Scottish government to hold a public inquiry.
In a statement issued by the party he added it would be "optimistic" to assume inspections are held even once a decade at the hundreds of cooling towers across the UK.
He made the call after receiving information from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: "Prof Pennington's intervention is significant and his authoritative voice should be a reason for the Scottish government to pause and reflect on their decision not to have an independent inquiry into this outbreak."
The outbreak was declared over by health officials last month.
A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "It would be entirely inappropriate to comment on a public inquiry at this time.
"The Health and Safety Executive is continuing its inquiries and any consideration of a public inquiry would have to wait until their investigations are complete."
At 05:01:03 in WorldThe US has carried out a military operation against al-Shabab militants in Somalia, officials say.
At 04:14:02 in BusinessJapanese wages unexpectedly logged their strongest increase since 1997, providing a boost to the government's battle against deflation.
At 03:22:59 in SportRadamel Falcao's loan move to Manchester United was the major deadline day signing as Premier League summer spending hit a record £835m.
At 02:54:26 in HeadlinesDouglas McAuthur McCain went to Syria, one of the many Americans who have taken part in the civil war, and died while fighting alongside Islamist militants. How did he and other Americans make their way to the battleground?
At 02:43:03 in HeadlinesWith the Scottish referendum just weeks away, the rest of the UK is speaking up. Some want the union to stay intact; others think Scotland should go its own way. But how much do people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland care about what happens?
At 02:31:21 in HeadlinesThe media is reaching saturation point in its coverage of the ice bucket challenge. But what has actually been achieved?
At 02:23:12 in BusinessA British activist who campaigns for better working conditions is set to go on trial in Thailand charged with criminal defamation.
At 02:07:43 in HeadlinesTo some, it is a party that speaks up for the people, challenging Germany's pro-European political establishment, and tackling tough issues which other parties are afraid to mention.
At 02:01:53 in EntertainmentEverything But The Girl musician Ben Watt has been announced as part of the 15-strong longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
At 01:57:27 in HeadlinesCoral reefs may look static to the naked eye, but scientists have now seen "violent" activity on their surface.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Edinburgh Legionnaires': Professor calls for inquiry [Online] (Updated 7th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1445002/Edinburgh-Legionnaires-Professor-calls-for-inquiry [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
Everything But The Girl musician Ben Watt has been announced as part of the 15-strong longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
The government is desperate to get more young people interested in scientific subjects. Could a self-proclaimed "geek festival" held last weekend in Milton Keynes hold the answer?
The US has carried out a military operation against al-Shabab militants in Somalia, officials say.
Japanese wages unexpectedly logged their strongest increase since 1997, providing a boost to the government's battle against deflation.
Eight police officers have been disciplined over a failed search for a missing man who was later struck and killed by a train.
With the Scottish referendum just weeks away, the rest of the UK is speaking up. Some want the union to stay intact; others think Scotland should go its own way. But how much do people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland care about what happens?