16th September 2020
Public Health England (PHE), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Sandwell Council are investigating three confirmed cases of Legionnaire's disease and six suspected cases in West Bromwich. Six of the patients are being treated in hospital.
Eight of the cases were reported to PHE in the last week with a single case reported in July that has also been linked to the outbreak.
Dr Adrian Philips, consultant in communicable disease control at PHE Midlands Health Protection Team, said: “While we do not currently have a direct link between these cases, the evidence we have points to the possibility that there is a common source.” 1
A Sandwell Council spokesman said: "The council is working closely with PHE and the HSE to find the source of this outbreak and we will continue to do everything we can to support the investigation." 2
This outbreak source has not yet been identified but highlights the need to ensure that water hygiene in buildings is managed safely; particularly where they are empty or underused due to COVID-19. An assessment should be made of the legionella risk before opening buildings and appropriate control measures should be put in place. The LCA published guidance for members in this process earlier in the year.
1 Quote from BBC News
2 Quote from BBC News