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Legionella now in the Algarve

legionellaThe Algarve has its first case of Legionella but the patient is out of intensive care and is receiving further specialist treatment, according a spokesman at Hospitals of the Algarve (CHA).

The patient is directly linked to the outbreak in Vila Franca de Xira, greater Lisbon and was in Intensive Care in Faro hospital.

"This patient is clinically stable," according to the hospital spokesman, who added that there was another case tested for Legionella in Portimão, worryingly this was a case which precedes the outbreak in Vila Franca de Xira.

Legionella, which causes serious and potentially deadly pneumonia, was detected last Friday at Vila Franca de Xira and so far over 300 cases of infection have been registered in the country but concentrated in the Lisbon area down wind of an industrial zone, with five confirmed deaths and a further four deaths potentially caused to the infection and still being tested.

The source is almost certainly the exhaust chimney of a fertiliser factory in an area that pays little heed to local concerns of foul air, chemical discharge and a lack of government inspections at factories due to a bizarre law change that swapped a regime of regular inspections for internal and exhaust air quality for a system of spot checks, open to abuse and back-handers.

According to today’s Resident, Algarve hospital’s ever-cheerful chief Dr Pedro Nunes claims that a Legionella outbreak normally should be killing more people, around 10-20% of cases, so “the Portuguese Health Service has done very well indeed.”

The environmental agencies have not done so well and threats of ‘prosecution of factory owners’ does little to calm the spread of near panic among locals nor does it help the families of the deceased.

It is interesting to compare the Lisbon response to that of sleepy Almodovar:

http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/3614-legionella-found-in-almodovar-water-supply

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