Killer bug alert
HEALTH experts and council bosses have launched an investigation to track down the source of a killer bug after four elderly pensioners were struck down by the lethal Legionnaires' disease.
Bolsover District Council and the Health Protection Agency are desperate to find the source to prevent further cases after four men from Carr Vale were rushed to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where they have been undergoing life-saving treatment.
Dr Fran Pitt, HPA East Midlands North director, said: "We're working closely with colleagues in other organisations who are jointly undertaking testing to try and identify the source of these infections."
The HPA launched its investigation after the four victims, all aged over 65, were diagnosed.
Two were being treated in the hospital's intensive therapy unit yesterday, where their condition was said to be critical, while the others were on medical wards.
The investigation involves interviewing patients to find common ground and discussing activities to see if the condition was acquired from an institution, at home or through travel.
Dr Roy Fey, HPA consultant, said: "Those affected don't appear to have travelled widely and there may be no link but we're trying to establish if there is one so we can ensure there is no threat to anyone else."
Legionnaires' disease is caused by Legionella bacterium spread through air from water and can be found in sources such as streams, cooling systems, water systems and spas but cannot be passed from person to person.
Symptoms include flu-like illness, leading to pneumonia sometimes, with diarrhoea and confusion. Those developing possible symptoms should see their GPs.
A Bolsover District Council spokesman said: "We're assisting the HPA in trying to find the source to prevent anyone else catching the disease and to establish if safety measures are needed."
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Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
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