Public Health Wales and partner agencies have not identified any new cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to the cluster in Barry since August 2019.
An ongoing multiagency investigation previously identified 11 cases linked to the town over a 13 month time period. Each case was extensively investigated but there is still no evidence that any of the cases are linked. Many had individual risk factors for acquiring their infection, including some with travel abroad.
However, as a routine precaution, Public Health Wales and partner agencies continue to advise employers to check their legionella policies and practices to ensure they are compliant. Landlords can also help reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease by following regular, simple precautions, more on which can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/legionella-landlords-responsibilities.htm
Members of the public can reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease by regularly flushing through or removing unused taps, de-scaling shower heads and hoses at least quarterly, draining water bowsers and garden hoses if not in use, and using the correct concentration of screen wash in their vehicles.
Full details can be found at: https://phw.nhs.wales/files/legionella-advice1/
Dr Gwen Lowe, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:
“We are closely monitoring the cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Barry and our investigations are actively continuing. Whilst Legionnaires’ disease is rare, it can be potentially life threatening. The disease is caught by inhaling Legionella bacteria which are spread through the air in fine droplets of contaminated water. Legionnaires’ disease cannot be passed from person to person.
“Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease notified to us are sporadic cases, but occasionally unexplained clustering occurs. We investigate all cases of Legionnaires’ disease and will keep the status of this incident under review.”
There are, on average, around 30 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Wales each year, usually spread throughout Wales.
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