‘Great chance that there are still new patients with legionella contamination recover’


'Grote kans dat er nog nieuwe patiënten met legionellabesmetting bijkomen'

Themabeeld legionella

It was Thursday, a new patient is admitted to hospital with legionella contamination. It reports the Agency of Care and Health. The symptoms of the patient indicate that the source of the infection for several days was active. “But the risk of contamination remains small,” says spokesman of Agency Care and Health (Joris Moonens.

The new patient was in the course of the night brought in the Jan Palfijnziekenhuis, but is not seriously ill. The person got the first symptoms on may 13. That is a later date than until now it was known, other patients received the first complaint on may 10. This is sure that the source is several days, was active. According to the Agency, the chance is therefore great that there are still patients will recover. Because legionella is an incubation period of up to 19 days, it is possible that people infected yet have no symptoms.

It is not clear whether the source is still active today. Moonens stresses that the risk of infection, however, remains small. “I realize that the perception is different, however, it is likely to become infected, to get small.’


The new patient is someone who is often on the Ghent canal zone is moving for work. That is for the researchers once again a strong indication that the contamination in that zone. “We will continue to search for the source of contamination in the southern canal area,” says Moonens.

The researchers have already taken samples from 19 companies, according to the Agency, the biggest contenders are to the source of the infection because of their cooling towers. Afterwards, the installations disinfected. ‘It is not certain that one of those companies is the source. But if it be so, is the infection in the meantime, stop’, says Moonens.

Now the search was continued in nine other companies. Also there are steel decreased, and a disinfection effect. “But that is no guarantee that the source is not active any more.’

The core area is also deeper investigated. With the help of Vito (Flemish institute for technological research) are aerial photos looking at to other cooling towers or installations to detect possible besmettingshaard. The chance is also great that the source is never found. According Moonens found in only two percent of the legionellabesmettingen the source.

Two fatalities

The first patient was on the 29th of april in the hospital. In total, 18 people are infected with legionella. There were two fatalities, Monday 13 may and Wednesday 15 may. The public prosecutor of East-Flanders starts a private investigation after the death of the two patients. “We want to be informed of the results of the investigation into the source and check whether there are any criminal offences have happened,” says parketwoordvoerster Annelies Verstraete. The municipality of Evergem and Ghent go as a civil party in the investigation, says mayor of Evergem Joeri De Maertelaere.

A negenkoppig team, supplemented with a lot of staalnemers and laboratory personnel, involves a race against the clock to be as fast as possible to the source of the infection is to detect and destroy. At the earliest mid-next week would that something can produce.