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Rzeszów. Legionella infection, another person dies

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23 fatal cases of Legionella infection were recorded by the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Rzeszów (Podkarpackie Voivodeship). One person died in the last day. A total of 166 cases of infection have been confirmed, including no new ones since Friday. This is according to the latest announcement published on Saturday.

According to the State District Sanitary Inspector in Rzeszów, until September 9, 23 fatal cases of Legionella infection were recorded – 11 women and 12 men aged 53-98 died. The announcement noted that all of them had comorbidities.

“A total of 166 confirmed cases (0 new) were recorded until September 9, 2023, including 112 in the city of Rzeszów and 38 in the Rzeszów poviat. The remaining cases (16) concern other poviats,” we read in the release.

The Rzeszów Sanitary and Epidemiological Station will publish further information on infections on Monday.

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Legionella infections in Rzeszów

The first cases of Legionnaires’ disease appeared on July 30. The peak of the disease was recorded between August 12 and 16. The Sanitary and Epidemiological Station learned about the mass infections on August 17.

Since then, an investigation has been underway to determine the source of Legionella infections. It is unknown for now.

They flushed the installations in schools

According to the Rzeszów town hall, a week before the beginning of the school year, all internal water installations in educational institutions were additionally flushed.

Read also: They are renovating the hospital and they found Legionella bacteria in the tap

– The chlorine water was drained, then all internal hot water and circulation installations were additionally rinsed. This was done at the beginning of the week – said Artur Gernand from the office of the president of Rzeszów.

In turn, the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Rzeszów, just before the new school year, published on its website “guidelines for educational institutions regarding the handling of hot and cold water in internal water supply systems as part of measures to prevent infections with Legionella bacteria”.

Read also: EU directive on drinking water and legionella. Szynkowski aka Sęk: it has no effect

Adam Sidor, the Podkarpackie Voivodeship State Sanitary Inspector, noted that his recommendations include, among others: proper maintenance of “water discharge points” and maintaining the appropriate temperature. Water in taps should be at least 55 degrees Celsius, in heaters 60 degrees. In this way, you can reduce the likelihood of the multiplication of legionella bacteria.

The document also mentions “rinsing the internal water supply systems with hot and cold water” and “keeping the equipment and the internal water system under control”.

The Podkarpackie sanitary inspector also reminds you to regularly check and maintain the appropriate pH level of the water, and where necessary, the concentration of disinfectants.

Legionella and legionellosis. Symptoms, sources of infection

You cannot become infected with Legionella from humans or by drinking water that contains the bacteria. Infection occurs when inhaling an aerosol produced from contaminated water.

Legionellosis is a type of severe pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. According to the Sanepid website, the legionella bacterium is found all over the world and is widespread in the environment, and its reservoir is water and wet soil. Legionella pneumophila has been detected in streams, ponds, plumbing systems of hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, faucets and shower strainers, water storage tanks, air conditioning and humidification devices, hot tubs, thermal pools, spa pools, medical devices.

Legionellosis usually begins with fever, chills, headache and muscle pain. Then, as we read on the website of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there is a dry cough and breathing problems that can progress to severe pneumonia. About a third of patients also experience diarrhea and vomiting, and about half experience confusion or hallucinations. Most patients require hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics. To diagnose the disease, special laboratory tests must be performed.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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