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Search for LD source continues after third death

UK: There have been no new cases of legionnaires' disease detected in Edinburgh since the death of a third man on Tuesday but the source of the outbreak has still not been identified.
Search for LD source continues after third death
The total number of overall cases remains at 99, of which 50 are confirmed cases.

Investigations into the source and cause of the outbreak continue. Lothian and Borders Police and the Health and Safety Executive are jointly investigating the circumstances of the deaths under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) Health and Safety Division.

Test results are said to have identified that the most common type of legionella bacterium, legionella pneumophila serogroup1, is the cause of patients' infections.

Investigations have concluded that there was a common outdoor, airborne exposure to the legionella bacterium over south west Edinburgh which probably started around May 23. According to the incident management team, evidence also suggests that the source of this exposure is most likely to have been the cluster of cooling towers in Wheatfield Road, Edinburgh.

Sixteen water cooling towers in the south-west of Edinburgh are said to have been treated with a range of chemicals to kill any bacteria but the source has still not been identified. Despite extensive testing using standard methods, there is reportedly no microbiological evidence that positively confirms the presence of legionella pneumophila in any of the samples taken from any of the potential sources. Analysis of these samples is continuing.

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