Edinburgh Legionnaires' outbreak: Second victim dies

Legionnaires' Disease bacteria It is thought the infection was spread from contaminated vapour from a cooling tower

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A second person has died after contracting Legionnaires' disease in Edinburgh.

The man, who was in his 40s, was from the Gorgie area of the city, which is at the centre of the outbreak.

It is understood the man had underlying health issues and was being treated at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The total number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease currently stands at 41. The number of suspected cases stands at 48.

So far, all of those infected have connections to the south-west of the city, where the outbreak is believed to have been caused by a cooling tower.

The exact source has not been identified and investigations continue.

One other man has died from the disease. He was named as 56-year-old Robert Air from the Seafield area of Edinburgh.

His funeral was held at 10:00 on Friday at Seafield Crematorium.

Robert Air Robert Air died in the Legionnaires' disease outbreak

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "My sincere condolences go to the family and friends of the patient who passed away in Edinburgh tonight in a case linked to the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the city. My thoughts are with them at this very difficult time."

She added that "despite this sad and tragic development it remains the case that we believe the outbreak to have peaked".

Dr Duncan McCormick, chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lothian, said his team realised that further deaths "were a possibility" but described the death of the second man as "extremely sad".

The Health and Safety Executive has so far served a pharmaceuticals company based in the area where most cases have been concentrated with two improvement notices.

These relate to at least one cooling tower and cover further inspection and maintenance although the source of the outbreak is not yet known.

Legionnaires' disease is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Symptoms are mild headaches, muscle pain, fever, persistent cough and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.

Location of sites tested for Legionnaires' disease
Map shows sites tested for Legionnaire's disease

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