Death toll in Quebec City legionnaires' outbreak hits double digits
A large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria are shown in this colorized 8000X electron micrograph image from 2009. (AP / Janice Haney Carr)
Published Saturday, September 1, 2012 2:09PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 1, 2012 2:10PM EDT
An outbreak of legionnaires' disease in downtown Quebec City has claimed its tenth victim, as health authorities have also raised the total of those afflicted to 165 as of September 1.
The latest legionellosis fatality was reportedly a man aged 57 who lived in the St. Sauveur district, near the downtown core of the provincial capital.
Quebec City public health authorities reiterated once again that they are continuing an intensive examination of the possible source of the outbreak, which is transmitted through industrial air conditioning units.
The disinfection of countless such air conditioning towers has been completed, but the bacteria can travel a wide distance, which has made it difficult to determine the precise source of the spread.
The disease is not contagious and is usually fatal only to those with weakened immune systems.