A warning has been issued for people living near cooling towers on South Tyneside to contact their GP if they develop sudden respiratory problems.
Samples taken from two of Faltec's cooling towers in Boldon have tested positive for bacteria that can cause legionnaires disease.
Five cases have already been confirmed, including four workers and one resident who lives close to the plant.
The cooling towers have been closed to remove further risk of infection to staff or the public.
"Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from person to person and can only be contracted from contaminated water.
"As a precaution staff have been advised to contact their GP if they develop a chest infection or other respiratory symptoms.
"Any local residents who develop a chest infection or other respiratory symptoms should contact their GP in the usual way."
A former North East soldier is planning to row across the North Sea to raise money for cancer charities, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Michael Tierney, from Low Fell in Gateshead, has been undergoing training at South Tyneside College's Marine Safety Training Centre.
The technology allows different weather conditions to be simulated in the pool.
Michael took up the challenge in memory of his sister, Clare, who died of breast cancer.
He will be joined on the trip by a former army colleague, James Moloney.
The pair are planning to make the 510-mile journey from the Scottish Borders to Denmark in August - a crossing they believe has only previously been completed by the Vikings.
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The medical director of the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS trust has sincerely apologised for the trust's shortcomings after one of their patients, Alan Cooper, stabbed and killed his 14-year-old nephew.
NHS England released a report into the case today.
Cooper was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2011 after killing his nephew Jordan in March of that year.
The attack happened at Jordan's grandmother in Washington after a row about a mobile phone.
At the time Cooper was receiving treatment from the Trust. They say they have since made significant changes to the way they provide care.
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It's known as the Geordie cancer drug and has been hailed as one of the most important new medicines in cancer research.
Developed by scientists in Newcastle, Rucaparib is being tried on patients across the North East
It is one of many potential medications being tested at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.
Our Health Correspondent Frances Read has this report.
People who want to find out more about taking part in clinical trials are invited to Freeman Hospital in Newcastle today as part of an event to mark International Clinical Trials Day.
Interactive demonstrations and tests, including a taste test, will be held to highlight the importance of the trials.
Clinical trial, while safe, are a vital part of the process used by scientists and doctors to find cures and treatments for a vast range of diseases and conditions.
Dog owners can put their pooches in for a free MOT when the vet charity PDSA visits Newcastle as part of a national pet wellbeing tour.Read the full story ›
Newcastle University is leading the world's largest study into liver disease.
The four year programme is being funded by 6 million euros (£4.3m) from the European Commission. It will focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by a build-up of fat in the liver cells.
There is currently no medical treatment for the life threatening illness. It affects nearly a quarter of the European population. Those with type 2 diabetes or overweight at most at risk.
This is Dr Quentin Anstee, the project co-ordinator:
The number of strokes occurring in men in the North East of working age has rocketed by more than a third in seven years, according to the Stroke Association.
Analysis of hospital admissions data by the charity highlights the dramatic increase. It is thought that much of the rise is due to an increase in so-called unhealthy lifestyles.