Published Date: 2004-06-21 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Legionellosis, hospital - Spain (Zaragoza)
Archive Number: 20040621.1651
LEGIONELLOSIS, HOSPITAL - SPAIN (ZARAGOZA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: EFE Salud 18 Jun 2004 [translated by JT; edited)
7 patients infected with legionellosis in Zaragoza have been hospitalized
in community health centers, and 3 are in serious condition. Meanwhile, the
Public Health Department detected the bacterium in 2 refrigeration towers
of the Hospital Clinico de Zaragoza, and it is currently assessing 12
The 7 patients in whom Legionnaires' disease had been confirmed are all
connected to the Lozano-Blesa University Clinic Hospital. The Aragon Public
Health General Manager, Luis Gomez, stated that of the latest 4 cases, 3
are health care workers.
The 1st case was detected on 10 Jun 2004, and 2 other cases by 15 Jun, when
the presence of the bacterium was confirmed in pools below 2 of the
hospital's 6 refrigeration towers that "had not been in contact at any time
with the Center air conditioning system", explained Dr. Gomez.
Since 15 Jun 2004, the other cases was confirmed, all related to the
Hospital Clinico, and it is thought that the 2 refrigeration towers are the
possible source of infection, stated Dr. Gomez.
The Aragon Government Public Health General Management has performed an
Epidemiological Survey for all cases, and it has started surveillance for
new or suspected cases. "In the next 10 days new cases may appear", since
the incubation period is from 2 to 10 days, explained Dr. Gomez, who stated
that an alert network has been set up in the Emergency Service in order to
detect any patients admitted because of a pulmonary infection characterized
by pneumonia with high fever (or Legionnaire's disease).
In addition to evaluating all refrigeration towers at the Hospital Clinico
and cleaning the affected ones, as well as those from Miguel Servet
Hospital, the investigation has been expanded to other 12 facilities in a
0.5-kilometer radius, including 1 facility within the University Campus.
The outbreak "has to do with the current situation, and it is not related
to prior outbreaks", said Dr. Gomez, who affirmed that the situation is
under control and that the Zaragoza City Council, the City Quarters
Association Group, as well as consumers, have been informed.
[_Legionella_ are readily isolated from cooling towers and other water
sources. Prior to placing the blame on the tower, it is important to show
that if any bacillus is isolated from those affected (rather than detection
of antigen or antibody), it is identical to that from the tower. - Mod.LL]