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Two news cases of Legionnaires' disease confirmed

Two new cases of Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed in an outbreak which has claimed two lives in the Edinburgh area of Scotland.

Both of the new cases are of people who have been ill for some time and who were originally among those suspected of having the disease, NHS Lothian said.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 44 and the number of suspected cases is still 47.

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Scottish Health Secretary: Evidence that 'outbreak has reached its peak'

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. Credit: PA

"I would like to take this opportunity to again express my sincere sympathy to the friends and family of the patient who passed away yesterday. My thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.

"This is an extremely sad development. However, it is reassuring that the number of cases involved in the outbreak remains static and this is further evidence that the outbreak has reached its peak."

National Museums Scotland: No issues with Legionella in our cooling tower

The improvement notice does not mean the National Museum of Scotland has been identified as the source of the outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.

The museum can appeal against the notice within the next 21 days.

Tests have confirmed that there are no issues with Legionella in our cooling towers.

Following a routine inspection by the Health and Safety Executive and the City of Edinburgh Council Environmental Health, both organisations confirmed they are satisfied with our documentation and procedures.

– A spokeswoman for National Museums Scotland, which runs the museum

Two other organisations, pharmaceuticals firm Macfarlan Smith and the North British Distillery, have already been served with improvement notices.

These do not mean any of the cooling towers are the source of the outbreak.

National Museum of Scotland served with improvement notice

The National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, is the third place to be served with an improvement notice by investigators.

The notice requires the museum to ensure that key staff members are appropriately trained in the management of water systems, which includes overseeing the ongoing monitoring and maintenance regime undertaken by specialist contractors.

The Improvement Notice relates solely to the training of staff and not to the operation of cooling towers.

– A council spokesman

Legionnaires' probe continues

An improvement notice has been served on a museum by health chiefs probing an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease which has left two people dead. Edinburgh City Council said the notice served on the National Museum of Scotland relates to staff training issues and not the operation of cooling towers.

On Thursday a second person died after catching Legionnaires' disease in the outbreak in Edinburgh.

The man, who had significant pre-existing underlying health conditions, died on Thursday evening in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Health chiefs said it appeared the outbreak has peaked, with figures remaining static. So far there have been 41 confirmed cases and 48 suspected cases in the outbreak in the south-west of the capital. The first man to die was named as Robert Air, 56, from the Seafield area of the city.

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NHS Lothian: 'all evidence points to no further exposure to Legionella infection'

Dr Duncan McCormick from NHS Lothian told ITV News that although all the evidence points towards 'no further exposure' to the Legionella infection, those with underlying health problems who are already affected will take longer to recover.

NHS Lothian report that the number of confirmed cases is still 41, with 48 suspected cases, taking the total number of overall cases to 89.

A second person was confirmed dead after contracting the disease in Edinburgh, but has not yet been named.

Legionnaires' victim 'wants answers'

55-year-old Terry Holeran says he wants answers after he caught Legionnaires' disease
55-year-old Terry Holeran says he wants answers after he caught Legionnaires' disease Credit: Irwin Mitchell/PA Wire

Terry Holeran "wants answers" after he contracted Legionnaires' disease and had to be treated at Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

The 55-year-old said he has instructed specialist illness lawyers to help him find out how the outbreak occurred and what can be done to prevent it from recurring.

Mr Holeran said: "It has been one of the worst weeks of my life. I'm just so angry about the whole thing and want to know what went wrong to cause the outbreak.

He became ill on June 5th with aches and pains, tiredness and breathlessness. He was treated at Western General Hospital where doctors sent him home with antibiotic treatment.

40 confirmed cases of Legionnaires'

There are now 40 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' Disease and 48 suspected cases.

Whilst we realised that further deaths were a possibility this additional death is extremely sad and I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the patient.

– Dr Duncan McCormick, Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Lothian

'Sincere condolences' sent to family and friends

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.

Despite this sad and tragic development, it remains the case that we believe the outbreak to have peaked. However, we continue to monitor the situation carefully and advise anyone with any concerns to contact the special NHS 24 helpline on 08000 85 85 31.

– Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon
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