A PERSON has tragically died from Legionnaire’s Disease in Gibraltar as health chiefs continue to search out the source that infected four people.
Health chiefs reported Monday that the victim had been in intensive care, probably with pneumonia, before losing the battle against the bacterial illness.
“It is with great sadness that the GHA can confirm that a patient has passed away from Legionnaire’s Disease,” Minister for Health and Care Gemma Arias-Vasquez said in a statement.
Another victim remains in hospital after the outbreak first recorded in September, the statement added.
The origin of the four cases of this latest Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak and investigations continue to explore different possibilities, its government said after its latest strategic government meeting.
Legionnaire’s Disease is caused not by drinking contaminated water but by breathing in the bacteria after it has aerosolized.
Its symptoms go from shortness of breath to full-blown pneumonia.
To try to hone in on the source of the infection, the health protection team once again interviewed the two recovered people after originally not finding any links between the victims.
Environment Agency professionals have taken samples of possible sources of the infection.
“Sampling is ongoing but results are not expected before 18th December due to the time required to culture the bacteria,” the Gibraltar Health Authority said in a statement.
Director of Public Health Helen Carter said residents should watch out for ‘worsening shortness of breath’ as an early sign people had caught the disease.
“It’s important to remember that Legionnaire’s Disease can’t be passed from person to person and is circulated by aerosolised droplets of the bacteria, not from drinking water,” she reminded.
“Please remember to run any taps that haven’t been opened for more than 7 days for two minutes, and use proper windscreen wash in your vehicles.”
In 2015, a man died after contracting the bacterial infection from car screen wash that was ridden with the bacteria.