Legionnaires' Disease kills one, afflicts 14 others in Quebec City
A microscopic view of the Legionella pneumophila bacteria. Cases have been on the rise throughout the continent however better treatment has diminished the fatality rate. (AP / Janice Hanley Carr)
Published Friday, August 3, 2012 12:25PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 3, 2012 12:28PM EDT
QUEBEC CITY - One person has died and 14 others have been afflicted with Legionnaires' Disease in Quebec City, possibly a result of air conditioning, according to the regional directorate of public health.
The bacteria that causes the disease grows in stagnant water in cooling towers used in large buildings, it then enters air conditioning systems which then distributes it through the air.
Authorities have sent warnings to owners of cooling towers within a 1.5 km range within the older parts of the city, urging them to clean their facilities.
Smaller air conditioners or heat pumps cannot produce the bacteria.
Legionellosis is non-contagious, airborne disease contracted by inhaling fine particles of contaminated water suspended in the air.
It generally poses little or no risk to healthy people but the elderly are somewhat more vulnerable.
-With a file from The Canadian Press