Legionnaire's disease outbreak in the Edinburgh area

Medical test under the Microscope

88 cases of confirmed or suspected Legionnaires’ disease have been reported in the Edinburgh area in the last two weeks.  The confirmed cases to date have involved people aged 33 to 76, with more men than woman affected.

The Health and Safety Executive and Edinburgh City Council are investigating this outbreak, with indications that the source of the outbreak was contaminated vapour released from a cooling tower in south west Edinburgh. 

As part of the Health and Safety Executive investigation, chemical cleaning of cooling towers in the south west Edinburgh area has been carried out to try and prevent any further spread of the disease. 

If, in the course of the investigations into the cause of this Legionnaires outbreak in Edinburgh, it is found that individual companies have caused the outbreak due to a failure of their health and safety obligations to the general public, prosecution may follow.  Digby Brown Solicitors have many years of experience with various industrial diseases, helping those who have been affected, to establish the cause and gain rightful compensation.

Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection that is caused by the legionella bacteria and can lead to a range of respiratory disease. The disease is potentially fatal and prompt treatment with antibiotics is essential.  Legionnaires’ disease is caught by individuals breathing in small droplets of contained water. Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and cannot spread directly from one person to another. Symptoms of the disease include high temperature, muscle and joint pain and headaches. 

The Scottish Government have set up a dedicated Legionnaires’ disease section on its website providing updated information on the outbreak and a factsheets on the disease and its symptoms.

NHS 24 has created a Legionnaires' disease helpline - 0800 0858 531