Suspected Legionnaires disease outbreak in Castle Hill

Published: 13 February 2018

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Investigations have begun in Castle Hill, in Sydney’s north west after three cases of Legionnaires disease were diagnosed.

Three men found to have the bacterial infection were located in the area during the same time frame they contracted the infection.

All patients reported becoming unwell between February 3 and 5.

The Hills Shire Council and public health units have started inspecting cooling towers in Castle Hill, as outbreaks can be associated with contaminated air conditioning systems in large buildings.

“People outside can be exposed to the bacteria when a water cooling system emits contaminated water particles into the air,” NSW Health’s Director of Communicable Diseases Dr Vicky Sheppeard said.

Legionnaires disease can cause fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath.

Treatment includes antibiotics and in serious cases patients may need assistance breathing using a ventilator.

Last year 81 cases of the Legionella infection were reported to NSW Health.