Legionella outbreak in Surrey likely from local source

Legionella outbreak in Surrey likely from local source
1 Dead as Outbreak of Legionnaires Disease Spreads in New Hampshire to 12 People
A large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria are shown in this colorized 8000X electron micrograph image from 2009. (AP / Janice Haney Carr)

Three people in Surrey, B.C. have been hospitalized with Legionnaires Disease, a severe form of pneumonia that develops after being infected by the Legionella bacteria.

Two additional cases of Legionnaires disease confirmed in Hampton, NH

We still dont know where they were infected, but its suggestive of a local source, Dr. Aamir Bharmal of the Fraser Health Authority told CTV News, adding that the source is likely in the Guildford area.

More cases of Legionnaires disease confirmed

Bharmal explained the bacteria is found naturally in soil and natural water sources, but it can grow in human-made water systems such as air conditioning, swimming pools and plumbing systems and become aerosolized, or inhalable. The Public Health Service of Canada points out it cannot be transmitted between people.

Most people dont get sick from Legionella, but people who have chronic health conditions or who are elderly or smokers or immune-compromised, they may eventually get a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires Disease, he said.

But Bharmal is urging people with those risk factor whove been in the Guildford area of Surrey in the past 10 days with symptoms of pneumonia (fever, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath) to seek medical attention and possibly testing for Legionella. At this point, officials arent suggesting at-risk people to avoid Guildford.

Cancelled: 7 and 11 a.m. sailings from Swartz Bay and the 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen. 2

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