A number of poorly maintained cooling tower systems in and around the Dudley area in Birmingham were taken out of action last week in an effort to halt the spread of Legionnaires’ disease.
The move was ordered by officials from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a woman in her 50s died in Russells Hall Hospital after contracting the disease.
Four other people living or working in the area were also infected with the Legionella pneumophila germ but are recovering at home.
The HSE and Dudley MBC Environmental Health Services said all sites with wet air conditioning systems, the most likely sources of infection, had been visited and assessed.
Sites which displayed serious shortcomings in maintenance management were ordered to be closed. Better managed sites were advised to disinfect their systems.
Valerie Little, director of public health for Dudley, said: “We are taking appropriate precautions to ensure that the spread of the disease is contained.'
Dr Killalea, a HPA consultant, added: “It is still possible though that a small number of new cases who already have the infection but have not yet shown any illness could come to light in the next few days.'