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  1. ITV Report

MSPs to be updated on Legionnaires' outbreak situation

Scotland's Parliament will today be updated on efforts to deal with a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.

By yesterday the number of confirmed cases of the disease had risen to 21 - with one person having died.

There were also another 19 people who were suspected of having the illness, which is linked to the south west area of Edinburgh.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary, will give an update on the situation on the outbreak to MSPs at Holyrood this morning.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh on the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease Credit: Jayne Wright/The Scotsman/PA

On Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon she described it as "the most significant Legionnaires' outbreak we have had in Scotland for a long, long time, perhaps since the early 1980s".

But she also said the risk to the community was low and that "all of the relevant agencies were working together very closely, both to manage the outbreak and ensure that patients have the right treatment, and to identify the source as quickly as possible."

There have been 21 confirmed and 19 suspected cases of Legionnaires' disease in Edinburgh Credit: ITV News

The first case was confirmed last Thursday, and since then bosses at NHS Lothian have established an incident management team, chaired by Dr Duncan McCormick, consultant in public health medicine.

On Wednesday, Dr McCormick said that while the number of cases is expected to continue to rise for several days it was hoped they would start to fall after that.

"We are confident we have identified the source and we have taken steps to rectify that. So while we expect to see more cases over the next few days, we would expect after a few days, maybe five or six days, to start to see a decline."

– Dr Duncan McCormick, consultant in public health medicine.

Meanwhile, the hunt continues to trace the source of the deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Edinburgh.

Health officials believe it is connected to an outdoor source, possibly a cooling tower.

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