How it spreads and who is most at risk

Legionella outbreak in Cáceres. An 86-year-old man died and six others were hospitalized The incident occurred at the city’s San Pedro de Alcántara Hospital, Extremadura Health Services (SES) reported. Of the hospitalized patients, four remain on the floor: an 85-year-old woman and three men aged 76, 71 and 55. Two men, each aged 65, are in the intensive care unit.

The Cáceres Health Department and the SES Public Health Directorate have launched an epidemiological investigation to determine the source of infection. This epidemic combined with the recent epidemic in Poland, Nearly 15 deaths and more than 150 cases have been confirmed in the southeast of the country.

Legionella or Legionnaires’ disease is a disease caused by bacteria Legionella pneumophila and can exhibit varying degrees of severity: From mild fever to some life-threatening pneumonia.Transmission usually occurs by contact Certain species of this bacteria are present in contaminated water or potting soil mixes.

As the World Health Organization (WHO) explains, “The most common form of transmission is Inhalation of polluting aerosols from spraying, spraying and atomizing polluted water. Infection may also occur through inhalation of contaminated water or ice, especially in vulnerable hospitalized patients.

In fact, this pathology worries health authorities due to the increase in cases in recent years. According to the latest report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), starting in 2021, European Union records highest annual rate of Legionnaires’ disease to date at 2.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Spain, Italy, France and Germany account for 75% of all reported infections. Men aged 65 and over are the most affected groupwith 8.9 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

Although the reasons for this increase in Europe are unclear, the ECDC points to a number of factors that may justify it, For example changes in national testing policies and surveillance systems, population aging or climate changewhich affects the ecology of this bacterium in the environment and exposure to water aerosols containing the bacterium.

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