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Legionnaire's Disease outbreak in Edinburgh

Discussion in 'Scotland/Alba' started by weepiper, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. weepiper

    weepiper eb slootly non verbal

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-18337813

    So of the four sites mentioned in that link with suspect cooling towers that they think might be the source of the outbreak, two are within a mile and a half of my flat as the crow flies and the other two are within 2 miles of my brother and his family's. Bit close for comfort :eek: naturally the chat at work today was all 'must be Legionnaire's' every time anyone so much as coughed.

    Really hope they pin it down soon.
  2. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx purves grundy - definitely a bloke

    I was thinking yesterday, I'm sure Scotland has more outbreaks than the rest of the country. I may be wrong. Maybe they just have ones that affect more people and make the news :hmm:
  3. weepiper

    weepiper eb slootly non verbal

    We have a rather high proportion of middle-aged men who are heavy smokers and drinkers and are therefore more susceptible :(
  4. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx purves grundy - definitely a bloke

    That had never even occurred to me :(

    But I would have thought it would affect the elderly just as much and the whole country has elderly :confused:
  5. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    :hmm:
  6. Fedayn

    Fedayn Diffidati con noi

    Scotland has a higher level of health problems due to alcohol and smoking related illnesses than the rest of the UK.
  7. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    I don't think it makes them more susceptible to Legionella though. Although it may reduce their chance of survival should they contract the illness.
  8. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Hope you and your bro & families stay healthy. I did google map Edinburgh this morning and thought 'oh poo!'
    Rather than a Scotland problem does this not seem to be an Edinburgh/Lothian problem? Was the last outbreak not there/thereabouts too??
  9. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Anything that compromises your respiritory system increases the risk Legionella/Norovirus and other aerosol-spread conditions but yes, the very young, old and medically compromised have the greatest risk of suffering.

    It also probably says something about poor ongoing maintenance procedures at the cooling towers concerned.

    IIRC the bacteria can be spread for a good couple of miles around an infected source and prophylactic antibiotics have been issued to nearby residents at risk in other scares.
  10. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    This is what it boils down to, yeah. It's entirely preventable.
    pogofish likes this.
  11. inflatable jesus

    inflatable jesus I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

    From what I recall, Legionella poses very little risk to the average person and has a pretty low rate of person to person spread.

    It sounds scary but chances are this will pass without causing much damage.

    In fact, here's what wikipedia had to say:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionella#Pathogenesis
  12. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    This isn't true. You do get different strains of the virus*; some people may contract it and put it down to having the flu or a cold, and its effects are no worse. However, the most virulent strain is perfectly capable of killing a fit and healthy man.

    *it's actually bacterial not viral but I don't know the word. :hmm:
    Minnie_the_Minx likes this.
  13. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

  14. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx purves grundy - definitely a bloke

    A friend of mine (young and fit) got it in Spain decades ago and had to get air ambulance home. Nearly died from it
  15. B0B2oo9

    B0B2oo9 You're all Gay

    All that warm May weather you see, cooked it up and made it breed like mad, poor cleaning and maintenance don't help either...

    they may never find the source.
  16. inflatable jesus

    inflatable jesus I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

    The crux of what I said is true.

    So here's what that site's FAQ says:

    I wasn't suggesting that we all take a big whiff of those cooling towers. However, if the question we're asking is "what is the risk to the average person in Edinburgh right now of getting a serious infection from Legionella" then the answer is pretty slim.

    Any reasonable healthcare proffessional would be worrying about people at nearby places with immunocompromised people. Not the average Joe.
  17. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    But that's the same for a lot of illnesses, it isn't specific to legionnaire's disease. I was responding to your claim that there's 'very little risk' to ordinary people. Which seems quacky advice as the most virulent strains can make them very ill and in some cases kill them. But yeah, obviously people with other health problems will have a rougher time of it. Like, duhhh.
  18. inflatable jesus

    inflatable jesus I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

    What advice? I was simply pointing out that the average person is not at particularly serious risk in this particular situation. What exactly am I advising people to do other than not to panic unnecessarily? Flu can make you ill and kill you, garden variety streptococcal pneumonia kills tons of people. Is there some helpful advice that you are trying to give here that I'm getting in the way of? Should everyone in Edinburgh get in a Hazmat suit right now?

    You're perfectly entitled to point out that there are dangerous strains of Legionella. That's fine, but I don't really think anyone was about to read my post and ignore the symptoms of Legionaire's disease because I said it there's no risk. So I'm not sure who you think you're helping with this pedantic knobbery.
  19. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Look, you obviously don't like being disagreed with. I happen to do Legionella preventative work as part of my duties. In our training, we are not educated that a section of society is at 'little risk'. Such comments are downplaying what can prove to be an entirely preventable serious condition. I have no idea what motivated you to post that. I was just pointing out that it is incorrect. Of course I doubt many will surf over to Urban75 looking for legionella advice. But your view may be formed from wider society and needed challenging. Mainly because, like a few conditions, early detection can help with survival chances.
  20. inflatable jesus

    inflatable jesus I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

    I don't like people telling me I'm wrong when I'm not. I think you could have made your point perfectly well without being confrontational about it.

    My experience is from reading about the disease in various medical textbooks, sitting through a medical conference on Legionella from an infectious disease specialist and treating life-threatening pneumonias in an ICU. Every time I have ever heard anyone in the medical profession talk about legionella, it always begins with something to the effect of "this is a disease you should consider in the elderly, immunocompromized or in people with work-related risk factors".

    If part of your job is preventing Legionella outbreaks then you should take it extremely seriously because you're undoubtedly preventing deaths. However, I don't think that in cases of a legionella outbreak anyone needs to go crazy worrying about the risk to healthy people far from the source. I don't think that's a controversial position at all.
  21. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Sorry, didn't mean to come across as confrontational.

    This article explains why smokers and those with existing respitory problems are more prone to become infected:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/legionnaires1.shtml

    So i was wrong on this bit:

  22. inflatable jesus

    inflatable jesus I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

    I may have over-reacted. I do that sometimes.

    Should we hug it out?
    geminisnake likes this.
  23. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Awww, feel the love. :D
    geminisnake likes this.
  24. equationgirl

    equationgirl the internet persona of Durham Cathedral

    I was in Edinburgh for the outbreak back in the winter of 1994/95. It was scary at the time, not helped by finding out that the source was where in the same building I spent several hours a day, and first finding out about from the news :facepalm:

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