19 de set. de 2013

Fifth person diagnosed with Legionella linked to gardening compost - Legionella Longbeachae

A fifth person has been diagnosed with Legionella longbeachae linked to gardening compost.
On Friday, NHS Lothian announced four people within the Lothians had been diagnosed with the disease. Two are still being treated in intensive care and the other two have been discharged.
On Wednesday, Health Protection Scotland's (HPS) said a further case had been confirmed in the NHS Tayside area and they are being treated at Ninewells Hospital.
Legionella longbeachae is a rare strain of the disease and not contagious but is contracted from commercial growing material and other composted material like bark and sawdust. Patients have flu-like symptoms which can progress to pneumonia.
The Lothian outbreak is thought to have come from gardening compost and an investigation is under way to find out the source of the bacteria. In the meantime, gardeners are being warned to take precautions when working with composted materials.
Dr. Martin Donaghy, Medical Director from HPS said: "Following the identification of five cases of an unusual form of legionnaires’ disease in Lothian and Tayside, Health Protection Scotland is co-ordinating an incident management team to investigate this issue.
"It is believed that the four cases from NHS Lothian and the one case from NHS Tayside have arisen from the Legionella longbeachae strain found in compost and potting materials. This is an uncommon but recognised international phenomenon.
"While the risk of becoming unwell from gardening activities (such as working with compost) remains very low, we would recommend good hygiene in relation to gardening – wearing gloves, wearing a mask if dusty, particularly indoors, and washing hands immediately after use.
"We also advise that people should open any compost or potting mix bags carefully in a well ventilated area and if possible using a safety blade. Keep the door open in greenhouses or sheds when potting-up plants or filling hanging baskets. Finally, if you are going to smoke while gardening, please wash your hands before doing so."
On Wednesday, a meeting was held between HPS, NHS Lothian and the City of Edinburgh Council as the investigation continues.

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