Legionnaires leaves one dead, 22 affected in Madrid

23rd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Twenty-three people have contracted Legionnaires' disease in the Spanish capital, one of whom has died, local health authorities said Saturday.

The source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, and authorities are trying to determine what connection exists between those affected.

One man died of Legionnaires' disease in hospital on Tuesday, the health authority for the Madrid region said in a statement. A further 20 people are being treated for the disease in various hospitals and another two have been released.

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

It is commonly spread through contaminated water sources, air conditioners and ventilators and is treated with antibiotics. People aged 50 or older are mainly affected. It cannot be spread from human to human.

© 2010 AFP

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