NSW Health Issues Warning after Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Sydney

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NSW Health released a statement on Friday morning, advising of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Sydney CBD.

The state health department is asking anyone who has been in CBD in the past 10 days to be on the lookout for symptoms of the disease, after five people who developed the disease in the past three weeks have spent time in the area.

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Two women and three men have been identified with the bacteria responsible for the illness, often associated with contaminated cooling towers in tall buildings.

The five people independently visited locations over the past week and a half between Museum Station, York Street, Park Street and Martin Place before their symptoms appeared.

Aged between 40 and 70, all five were admitted to hospital for treatment for pneumonia.

Symptoms of the disease can develop up to 10 days after exposure to contaminated water particles, often associated with contaminated cooling towers and include “fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath and may lead to serious lung infections such as pneumonia”.

Environmental Health Officers from NSW Health are currently working with the City of Sydney to review the testing and maintenance of all cooling towers in the CBD area and to uncover potential sources of the outbreak.

These five cases follow a number of recently identified cases of Legionnaires’ disease across Sydney.

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