A patient may have become infected with Legionnaires’ disease while at a hospital’s dialysis unit – after Legionella bacteria was found in a patient at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the patient “may have acquired” it at the unit. The hospital said no other patients were affected and “enhanced control measures” removed the risk of it spreading.
What is legionnaires’ disease?
- It is a potentially fatal lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria
- It is caught by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water
- Initial symptoms include a high fever and muscle pain
- It is treated by intravenous antibiotics
Legionella bacteria are commonly found in sources of water, such as rivers and lakes, which sometimes find their way into artificial water supply systems.
large buildings such as communal accommodation, care homes, hospitals and office blocks are more vulnerable to Legionella contamination because they have larger, more complex water supply systems and the bacteria can quickly spread.
An estimated 10% of people who contract the disease will die from complications arising from infection.