Legionnaires' disease suspected in three deaths in eastern France

24th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, France, Aug 23 (AFP) - Three elderly men have died in eastern France over the past week, most likely from Legionnaires' disease, regional health officials said Monday.

STRASBOURG, France, Aug 23 (AFP) - Three elderly men have died in eastern France over the past week, most likely from Legionnaires' disease, regional health officials said Monday.

The three men - aged 72, 74 and 84 - all lived in villages near the eastern city of Strasbourg, officials said.

"These people died in circumstances that strongly suggest Legionnaires' disease," said Francois-Paul Debionne of the Bas-Rhin departmental health agency. Tests were being conducted to conclusively identify the cause of death.

Officials were checking air conditioning units in the Strasbourg area for any signs of the disease, as well as the homes of the three men.

Legionnaires' disease - first discovered at an American Legion convention in the United States in July 1976, where 29 people died - causes high fever, dry cough, lung congestion and subsequent pneumonia.

It is commonly spread through contaminated air conditioners and ventilators and is treated with antibiotics.

In 2003, 1,044 cases of Legionnaires' disease were reported in France, 129 of them ending in death.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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