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Legionella in Rzeszów and its vicinity. Mayor of the city Konrad Fijołek about infections and cleaning the water supply system, Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski about bacteria

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The situation in Rzeszów and its vicinity is very serious – said the mayor of the city, Konrad Fijołek, in “Fakty po Faktach”, referring to numerous legionella infections in the region. He added that “several people are still in quite a difficult condition” and there could be more deaths. He also explained how the process of chlorination of the water network works and what is associated with it. Doctor Paweł Grzesiowski recommended that in the current situation, instead of taking a shower, you should decide to wash under a compact stream of water.

The Mayor of Rzeszów, Konrad Fijołek, and Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, an expert of the Supreme Medical Council for epidemic threats, spoke in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 about legionella infections, which are registered in large numbers mainly in Rzeszów and the vicinity of the city. A total of 127 people have been infected, eight of whom have died.

READ MORE ABOUT RECENT LEGIONELLA INFECTIONS >>>

– The situation in Rzeszów and its vicinity is very serious. The scale of the spread of bacteria and diseases is quite large, as for the historical cases that have happened so far. The cases are actually quite numerous, admitted Fijołek. “Unfortunately, I also have to say that several people are still in quite a difficult condition and unfortunately it may turn out that this is not the last victim we talked about today,” he added.

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He also said he had “good news”. – The number of these hospitalizations in our hospitals is not increasing in a significant way. Therefore, it seems that the largest number of hospitalizations of people reporting to the hospital is behind us – he said.

“This epidemic has an unprecedented character in Rzeszów”

The local government official informed that “so far in the epidemiological proceedings conducted by the health department, which we are trying to support, we have not been able to find a common denominator” for the diseases.

– And this epidemic in Rzeszów has an unprecedented (…) character. So far (…) these legionella attacks have happened somewhere in the spot. And this in a hospital, and this in a hotel, and this in one place. And there was one reason, he explained. In the meantime, he said, there are “many people from different places who are sick” in the city.

He emphasized that there are still unknown answers to the questions, “Is this one point that spreads bacteria?” and “what is it related to?”. He estimated that next week could bring answers.

Mayor of the city on chlorination of the water supply network and drinking tap water

The Mayor of Rzeszów was also asked whether residents can use water without fear. “I would like to assure you 100 percent that residents can safely use water,” he said. – Water in Rzeszów has always been of good quality. We have one of the best water purification systems. And using water, drinking cold water, the water from the water supply, is always safe, he added.

Mayor of Rzeszów: residents can safely use waterTVN24

The TVN24 guest said that the process of chlorination of the water supply network has now begun. “We’re doing it just in case, as a precaution,” he said. He assessed that “this process is known to the residents, because usually (…) once a year, depending on the needs, the network is disinfected”. “Residents know what it means. There is a little more chlorine in our taps, a little more in our water tanks. And we are used to it. It does not require any extraordinary behavior.

Fijołek said that the whole process started on Saturday at 2 pm. – It will intensify at night. During the night, we hope that this additional, increased dose of chlorine will reach the entire network. Tomorrow morning, residents will see a little more chlorine in our network. For 24 hours from tomorrow morning, we recommend using water traditionally, but still boiling it for consumption, he said.

Grzesiowski: The greatest risk in the shower. I would recommend removing the strainers and washing yourself with a stream of water

Doctor Grzesiowski concluded that “if there is no common denominator for patients who reported to hospitals, i.e. there was no one event, no single place where they were exposed, the hypothesis remains that they could have been infected at home”. – And in our houses we have tap water, there is no other – he stressed.

According to him, “the greatest risk is in the shower, in the shower.” – Because that’s when the most aerosol is produced. So, as a doctor, I would recommend – especially to those who are in risk groups, i.e. the elderly, the sick – to take off the screens from the shower for the time of uncertainty and simply wash with a stream of water – he said. As he said, “this is the basic activity that we do when we have a problem in a building, for example a hospital or nursing home”.

Grzesiowski on legionella: The greatest risk in the shower.  I would recommend removing the strainers and washing yourself with a stream of water

Grzesiowski on legionella: The greatest risk in the shower. I would recommend removing the strainers and washing yourself with a stream of waterTVN24

Grzesiowski pointed out that “legionella occurs in pipes”. “It’s not a new bacterium or anything out of the ordinary. After all, we have regulations that say how many cells of this bacteria can be in 100 milliliters of water, and this is strictly tested and observed. So something extraordinary must have happened.

The expert said he was looking for information on what might have happened. – I found information that the network in Rzeszów is being expanded, repairs are being carried out all the time, new sections are being opened. Recently, there was a cleaning of the sewage network. This is connected with the shutdown of large sections of water supply. So maybe something happened during the renovation work that caused the bacteria to multiply. We have high temperatures, and that’s also good. Hot weather is conducive to the growth of this bacteria in natural conditions – added Grzesiowski.

Grzesiowski about legionella in Rzeszów and the surrounding area

Grzesiowski about legionella in Rzeszów and the surrounding areaTVN24

Main photo source: TVN24



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