Legionella outbreak in northern Portugal kills five, infecting 60 others

An outbreak of legionella affecting the boroughs of Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim and Matosinhos (all areas already constrained by the toughest State of Emergency measures) has killed five people (all over the age of 80) and infected 60.

Authorities are still trying to identify the source of contagion.

Legionella is a ‘serious pneumonia’ caused by a bacteria that doesn’t transmit from person to person.

Explain reports, the bacteria tends to live in freshwater and can develop in storage deposits, showers, the cooling towers of refrigeration systems, swimming pools, jacuzzis, even decorative fountains.

People contract legionella by inhaling droplets of contaminated water, not by drinking contaminated water.

The puzzle in this outbreak is that three separate coastal boroughs are involved, all connected to each other.

So far there have been no cases flagged in adjacent boroughs further inland.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com