Investigation launched to determine if Legionnaires' disease source is in Croydon
Detailed histories of the recent movements of three patients being treated for Legionnaires' disease are being explored to determine if the source of infection is in Croydon.
Investigators are looking to see if there are similar patterns between the patients identifying and sampling potential sources of the disease, such as cooling towers, in areas the patients may have visited in common.
There is currently no direct link between any of the cases and laboratory tests have already determined that two of the cases are definitely unrelated.
Legionella bacteria is widely distributed in the environment and has been found in ponds, hot and cold water systems and water in air conditioning cooling systems.
Although breathing in aerosols from a contaminated water system is the most likely route of transmission, other possible sources of infection are domestic hot and cold water systems at home or in other buildings frequented, evaporative condensers, spa pools, humidifiers and fountains or sprinklers.
But data from between 2009 and 2011 found at least one third and up to one half of all cases were acquired during travel outside the UK.
A spokesperson for PHE said: "It is not always possible to find the source of infection for Legionnaire's disease, particularly with sporadic cases. However, laboratory typing when available, helps to rule out links between cases.
"Where more than one case mentions the same location, further investigation will take place to rule out a potential on-going source that may present a risk to the public."
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