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Lawyers bid to secure information on Edinburgh Legionnaires outbreak

Lawyers representing some of the victims of the Edinburgh Legionnaires outbreak are going to court in a bid to secure information they believe will help identify the likely source of the outbreak, Edinburgh Evening News has reported.

Four people died and 45 others needed hospital treatment after contracting the disease in June 2012.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a review and submitted its findings to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) last year, however as yet the report has not been made available to the victims and their legal representatives.

Cooling towers in the south-west of Edinburgh have previously been identified as a possible source of the Legionella bacteria.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and is caught by inhaling droplets of water, suspended in the air, containing harmful levels of Legionella bacteria.

The bacteria is common in rivers and ponds but exposure is more likely from water systems such as cooling towers and spa pools.

Victims have suffered from respiratory problems and pains in the joints in their arms and legs and some sufferers have told of becoming so weak they struggled to walk up the stairs in their own home.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell Scotland say the continued silence from the Scottish Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regarding the outcome of investigations is ‘totally unacceptable’.

The 11th Annual Combatting Legionella & Water Treatment conference, will be taking place on 24-25 September at Holte Suite, Aston Villa Park, Birmingham.

The conference is a comprehensive and cutting-edge event that will ensure engineering and facilities management teams are able to prevent legionella bacteria and comply with water safety regulation.

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