Legionella spread in warm fresh water. Then they can be found in showers, faucets or humidifiers, among other things. Two people in Baden-Wuerttemberg have now lost their lives.
Two people died from Legionella in the Weinsberger Tal in Baden-Württemberg, and a total of five were infected, according to the district office.
The patients came from Obersulm, Ellhofen, Weinsberg and Löwenstein, as the district’s health department announced on Thursday. Most of them are middle-aged and older men.
Legionella are spread around the world and thrive in warm fresh water. They can cause illness in people – from flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia. The pathogens are often transmitted through atomized water, for example in showers, whirlpools, through humidifiers or via water taps.
However, experts from the Heilbronn health department are currently not assuming that contaminated drinking water is the cause of the infections. The sick lived in different places, there are several water suppliers. ‘The surrounding sewage treatment plants were also sampled,’ said a spokeswoman for the dpa office. ‘We assume that the cause can be found in an evaporative cooling system.’
People with a weakened immune system and certain underlying diseases such as diabetes and heart and lung diseases are particularly susceptible to Legionella. Smokers and the elderly are also at risk. Men get sick two to three times as often as women. The disease is fatal in around five to ten percent of patients.