Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Legionella Outbreak in Scotland: 1 Dead, 16 Critical

Posted by feww on June 6, 2012

The worst single outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland kills one, leaves 16 in critical condition

At least one person has died and 16 others are in a critical condition in hospital in the worst single outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland.

A further 15 suspected cases of the illness are being investigated by the health authorities in Edinburgh, reports said.

The worst legionella outbreak in the UK occurred in 2002 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where at least 172 people were infected and seven died from the illness. It’s believed that a contaminated cooling tower was the source of that outbreak.


Legionella bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease  is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. Each year, up to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S.  However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher. Legionnaires’ disease can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body. These symptoms usually begin up to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 30% of cases.  Source CDC.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Florida, USA.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a 16 percent increase in tuberculosis (TB) cases in Duval County in the past year, making it the largest outbreak of TB in the U.S.
    • Most of the cases are reportedly among the homeless.
    • There were 85 cases of TB reported in Florida of which 67 were in Duval County.
  • Washington, USA.  Whooping cough epidemic in the state of Washington has so far surpassed 2,000 reported cases.
  • Utah and S. Dakota, USA.  Hantavirus, a rodent-borne disease has claimed at least 2 lives in the State of Utah and a thir in South Dakota.
    • “We get maybe one case a year,” Baker said Tuesday. “It’s unusual to see two fatalities so early in the summer.” Utah Department of Health epidemiologist JoDee Baker said.
    • The third victim, who died from the infection is SD was a 7-year-old girl.
    • In 2011, some 587 cases of the disease throughout the U.S. were reported to CDC, including 16 in S. Dakota.
    • The young girl’s death is the fifth in the state from hantavirus, so far this year, said the South Dakota Department of Health.
  • GlobalMulti-drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhea.  The numbers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs, STDs) have climbed to about 500 million new cases globally each year.  The STIs include Gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
    •  Gonorrhea represents about a fifth (~ 100 million cases) of all STIs  annually.
    • A superbug strain of gonorrhea, first identified in Japan, which  is resistant to all recommended antibiotics, has spread to  many more countries around the globe, including Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.K., UN WHO reported.
    • The strain is found to be resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics, the last treatment option against gonorrhoea, WHO said.
    • “There are verified treatment failures to cefixime (oral cephalosporin) treatment in Japan and Norway as well as reports from China (Hong Kong SAR) and the United Kingdom. This emergence of decreased susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to the ‘last line’ treatment option of cephalosporins together with AMR already shown to penicillins, sulphonamides, tetracyclines, quinolones and macrolides (including azithromycin) make N. gonorrhoeae a multidrug-resistant organism.” WHO reported.
    • “Antimicrobial resistance is caused by the unrestricted access to antimicrobials, overuse and poor quality of antibiotics, as well as natural genetic mutations within disease organisms. In addition, gonorrhoea strains tend to retain genetic resistance to previous antibiotics even after their use has been discontinued. The extent of this resistance worldwide is not known due to lack of reliable data for gonorrhoea in many countries and insufficient research”


Gonorrhea is a common sexually-transmitted disease (STD), caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. An electron micrograph of gonorrhea bacteria.  Image courtesy http://women.webmd.com/slideshow-pelvic-pain-causes

See also:

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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