Legionnaire's disease outbreak in Portugal kills 7

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2014 2:53 PM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese health authorities say the death toll from a recent outbreak of Legionnaire's disease near the capital Lisbon has risen to seven, with 311 people infected.

The General Directorate for Health said in a statement Thursday that all the recorded cases are linked to a cluster of small towns about 35 kilometers (20 miles) north of Lisbon.

Officials say they suspect the cooling towers of a fertilizer plant in the area are to blame for the outbreak which began last week.

Francisco George, the director-general for health, said the number of new infections is slowing, indicating the worst is over.

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Legionnaire's disease causes a serious lung infection. It is not contagious and is usually caught by inhaling small droplets of contaminated water. It is treated with antibiotics.