Auckland,New Zealand has been inundated with an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease that has claimed one life and the number of reported cases has risen to 11.The sudden increase in reported cases of the potentially fatal lung infection has prompted the health service to ask for urgent chemical treatment in all buildings with air-conditioning that relies on water cooling towers.
On Tuesday the service said it had been notified of nine cases of legionnaires’ disease in the past six weeks. By yesterday, the figure rose to 11.
Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia, can be caught from the contaminated water cooling towers of large air-conditioning systems, domestic shower heads, spa pools, water blasting and soil, compost and potting mix. The risk from large air-conditioning systems is to the building’s occupants and to people on the streets exposed to contaminated, wind-borne water .