1. ITV Report

Increase number of cases of Legionnaires' disease in Vale of Glamorgan

Credit: PA

Public Health Wales said it has been investigating a 'higher than usual' number of cases of Legionnaires' disease in the Vale of Glamorgan over the past 10 months.

Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection that can be life-threatening. It cannot be passed from person to person but can be caught from inhaling water droplets containing bacteria.

It often begins with flu-like symptoms and can lead to pneumonia.

Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease notified to us are sporadic cases, but unexplained clustering does occur from time to time... The results of samples we have received so far are different, suggesting the typed cases are not linked.

On average, there are around 30 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Wales each year. These are usually spread throughout Wales. This year there have been 10 cases of Legionella across Wales to date, two of which have been in the Vale of Glamorgan. In 2018, there were seven cases in this area.

We are closely monitoring this situation, continue to investigate cases, and will keep the status of this incident under review.

– Dr Gwen Lowe, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales

Steps that can be taken to reduce the risks:

  • Regularly flushing through or removing unused taps and shower heads
  • Draining water bowsers and garden hoses if not in use
  • Using commercial screen washes in cars rather than just water or homemade solutions
  • Running the shower for several minutes if you have been away from home for several weeks