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article imageU.K. outbreak of Legionnaires Disease over, but may be more cases

By Marcus Hondro     Jul 25, 2012 in Health
Edinburgh - While officials of the National Health Services in Scotland declared the outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in Edinburgh that killed 3 to be over, more cases could still be found. There may be, they say, patients who've yet to come forward.
"As we have seen over the last week, we can expect further cases who have been ill for some time to continue to come forward and our increased surveillance will continue," the director of public health for the NHS, Dr Alison McCallum, said. "However, all the evidence is suggesting that the action taken when the outbreak was first identified was effective and all cases fall within the expected incubation period, so the decision has been made to declare the outbreak over."
Legionnaires outbreak in Edinburgh
The illness was identified the end of May and 101 are known to have come down with Legionnaire's Disease since then; all three who died were male. Officials have not been able to determine how the outbreak began but are working to determine the cause.
"Laboratory work is ongoing to try and identify the source conclusively but, as we have said from the start, it may not be possible to do so. There is also more work to be done to gain a better understanding of the scale of the outbreak and how to manage outbreaks in the future."
Dr. McCallum said they intend to enlist citizens to help them in their work, though it was unclear if she meant only some of those who'd come down with the illness and survived it. "We hope that people who are approached to participate in these studies will come forward and help us with this significant piece of research," she said.
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