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U.K. Legionnaires’ Outbreak Kills 1

August 3, 2002

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LONDON (AP) _ An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in northwest England killed an 89-year-old man and infected at least 18 other people, an official said Friday.

Thirty-six other people were suspected of having the disease, Health authorities in Cumbria said. The man who died was not identified.

The cases were all reported in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in England’s lake district. People hospitalized with symptoms of the disease told investigators they had been within 500 yards of City Hall, said Dr. Nigel Calvert, a consultant in communicable disease control.

Worried father Bernard Hannaway took his 18-year old daughter Laura to Furness General Hospital to have her checked for the disease.

``She’s been feeling ill for two or three days. She has been burning up and feeling sick and with this news today we thought we had better come and get it checked out,″ he said.

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia caused by bacteria in water droplets. It breeds in warm, moist conditions, and in most major outbreaks the source of infection has been water in the air conditioning systems of public buildings.

People who get Legionnaires’ disease begin two show symptoms two or three days later. Of those in good health who contract it, between 10 percent and 15 percent die.

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