Fourth Legionnaires case uncovered in Carmarthen
A FOURTH case of Legionnaires disease has been found in Carmarthen.
Investigations into the outbreak started last week after three cases were discovered in the town.
The new case brings the total number of cases being investigated by Public Health Wales and Carmarthenshire Council’s Environmental Health department to four.
The cases all have links to Carmarthen and have all required hospital treatment as a result of their illness.
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The council’s environmental Health department continues to look for potential sources of Legionnaires’ disease in the town.
However, the public have been reassured that there is no suspicion that the disease’s source is the drinking water supply to the town.
There is also no link between the Carmarthen incidents and reports of legionella bacteria in water samples taken from Llandrindod Hospital, Powys.
Dr Mac Walapu, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales, said: “We are continuing to speak to the four people who have been unwell to gain a better understanding of their movements in the days before they became ill in order to try and identify the source of the disease.
“It is important to note that Legionnaires’ disease is very rare and most people who come into contact with the bacteria that cause infection will not become ill. People over the age of 50, particularly men and smokers, are most at risk.”
Legionnaires’ disease cannot be caught from another person and is contracted by breathing in droplets from contaminated water sources.
Water sources that can cause Legionnaires’ disease include anything that can create a fine mist of water droplets that can be inhaled, such as industrial cooling towers, air conditioning systems and water spas.
Information has been circulated to GPs and hospitals in the area to advise them to be alert to the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease.
Anyone who lives or works in the Carmarthen area and has symptoms suggestive of Legionnaires’ disease is advised to contact their GP.
Symptoms include breathlessness, chest pain and a dry cough, as well as fever, muscle aches, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.
For advice on the disease visit www.wales.nhs.uk/ sitesplus/888/page/44350