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Legionnaires’ outbreak in Edinburgh cost NHS £750,000

Posted in: Industrial Deafness and Disease Personal Injury Public Liability 

After Edinburgh saw an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed four people last year, a report has unveiled the overall cost to the NHS — £750,000. Despite the fact that the root cause of the viral spread has not yet been pinpointed, the death of these four individuals prompted an NHS payout to cover further hospital admissions and advanced staffing. Further additions to the bill included medication, lab costs and public information.

The outbreak was restricted mainly to the south-west of Edinburgh, with the report pinpointing a source around the EH11 2 postcode area. Some believe that the cooling towers situated in the south-west of the city could also be a possible source.

Chest pain and breathing difficulties

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe lung infection caused by legionella bacteria. Symptoms of the disease include muscular pain and a high fever at first, yet when the bacterium has reached the lungs, the victim will develop a persistent cough with chest pain and breathing difficulties.

Marco Biagi, Edinburgh Central MSP whose constituency includes the area that was affected, said: “All eyes will now be on the Health & Safety Executive to bring some closure to all those who fell ill or lived in the affected area. It is vital the HSE communicates more about the steps in their inquiry than they have until now. A year on from the Edinburgh outbreak, people still want answers.

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