The Legionnaires’ disease outbreak registered a new case in Poland, near the border with Ukraine

This 1978 electron microscope image released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Legionella pneumophila bacterium, which causes legionellosis, a lung disease. (Francis Chandler/CDC via AP, File) (Francis Chandler/)

This Tuesday, a single new case of legionnaires disease in the southeast of Polandin an area close to the border with Ukraine. The positive part of the news is that the spread of the disease has slowed after chlorination of the water system.

The latest death was recorded on Friday, bringing to 19 the number of fatalities since the outbreak in July. A total of 166 people have been infected in the Rzeszow region, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border.

It is a key transit hub for international military support to Ukraine following Russia’s full-scale invasion last year. Some 10,000 US troops are stationed in the area.

Health authorities, prosecutors and the internal security agency were still looking for the origin of pulmonary infections in a strategically sensitive region. Experts say it could come from warm plumbing water that is rarely used in hot weather.

Deaths from this disease occurred among older people who also had other health problems such as cancer.authorities said.

Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection caused by inhaling infected water spray. It is not transmitted through drinking water.

In general, contracted in places like hotels, hospitals, or offices where the bacteria have entered the water supplyFor example, in air conditioning systems or infrequently used taps and showers.

  A person infected with legionellosis is seen in a clinic.  Capture
A person infected with legionellosis is seen in a clinic. Capture

Germs multiply in temperatures between 20 and 50 degrees Celsius (68-122 degrees Fahrenheit). The disease is treated with antibiotics.

Throughout the past weekend, the municipal water company carried out sanitation work on the pipe system in Rzeszów and increased the dose of chlorine in the facilities in a preventive way to try to eliminate the bacteria.

In other provinces, such as the Greater Poland Voivodeship (west) and Lesser Poland Voivodeship (south) there have also been isolated cases in recent days, but for the moment the regional health authorities assure that they are not outbreaks.

Also known as “legionnaires’ disease” is a type of pneumonia caused by the ‘legionella’ bacterium, which reproduces in hot water and can spread through pipe systems under favorable conditions, but is not transmitted between humans.

“We are looking for the source of contamination. We are considering contamination of the hot and cold water supply network,” said Adam Sidor, regional health inspector.

This weekend, the authorities of Rzeszow, a city of about 200,000 inhabitants, carried out disinfection work on the entire sanitary network.

Legionellosis, or Legionnaires’ disease, is a serious bacterial lung infection. Contamination can be caused through the respiratory tract by inhalation of the bacteria, through water or through air conditioning. The disease is not transmitted from person to person.

The infection, whose incubation lasts from two to ten days, takes its name from the first known epidemic, which occurred in 1976 in a hotel in Philadelphia (United States), where a conference of the American Legion, the main association of veterans of the United States, was held. country. 34 people died.

(With information from AP, AFP and EFE)