Legionnaires’ Probe At Pirbright Centre

UK - A reported case of Legionnaires’ disease with alleged links to the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright was being investigated by officials yesterday.
calendar icon 10 August 2007
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The research centre is one of several locations being routinely assessed under national guidance which says every place a patient has visited in the days before falling ill should be investigated, the Health Protection Agency said.

Environmental health inspectors have taken water samples from the Institute of Animal Health (IAH) after it was discovered a worker contracted the disease, The Guardian reported.

The IAH at Pirbright, in Surrey, is suspected to be at the centre of the foot and mouth outbreak.

It is believed the case pre-dates the foot and mouth outbreak which has been traced to the laboratory facilities at Pirbright.

The IAH is being considered as one of a number of possible sources of contamination, as part of the investigation carried out by the Surrey Health Protection Unit with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and environmental health officers.

Early findings from the investigation, which looked at the building in which the infected person worked, suggest the institute was carrying out all necessary maintenance and monitoring work in compliance with relevant codes of practice.

The inquiry is examining everywhere the patient has been in the 10-14 days before falling ill, including their home, place of work and anywhere they may have travelled or visited.

Legionnaires’ Disease is caused by a type of bacterium found in the environment that causes a problem if it is converted into an aerosol form from a water source – e.g. in showers or spas – and inhaled.

Source: TheCumberlandNews
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