New legionella scares sees five in hospital in Porto

A new Legionella scare sees five people interned in hospital in the Greater Porto area this week. Last weekend, two holidaymakers – one from Sweden and another from France – were reported to have contracted the potentially deadly bacteria while staying at the city’s Boa-Vista hotel. But the hospital cases are thought to all stem from Legionella spores found in six refrigeration towers, of public buildings director general for health Francisco George has explained.

The towers “in areas that produce aerosols” have all been closed and disinfected, he added, though he has not revealed their locations.

As to the state of health of the five people in hospital, one is thought to be at risk with a clinical situation described as “worrying”, while the others are said to be “developing favourably”.

In a press conference given on Monday, George revealed that 40 cases of people contracting Legionella have been reported in the Greater Porto area this year, as opposed to 44 last year.

Last year in Vila Franca de Xira, a total of 14 people died in Portugal’s worst Legionella outbreak to date. Hundreds of people were taken ill, many suffering from the consequences for months afterwards.

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