Three workers at Faltec Europe Limited have contracted Legionnaires’ disease in the past seven months – but fresh concerns were sparked after a resident living near the car component business was suspected of contracting the potentially fatal lung disease, the Shields Gazette has reported.
The three workers – who were confirmed to have contracted the illness between October of last year and this month – are recovering at home after stays in hospital.
The resident who is suspected to have fallen ill with Legionnaires’ disease – which can thrive in central heating and air conditioning systems – has also been discharged from hospital.
Faltec, which employs over 460 workers at Boldon Business Park, is subject to an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Public Health England and South Tyneside Council’s environmental health team.
Last week, The National reported about a separate legionella case involving Andrew Murphy from Lanarkshire, Scotland, who fell ill in 2008 after using a bag of compost to plant tomatoes.
Within two days he was so ill he was admitted to hospital where he spent 50 days in intensive care. Tests later showed he had contracted Legionnaires’ disease from the compost.
Mr Murphy was the first Scot known to have contracted the disease from compost and died of leukaemia in 2014 after his immune system was critically weakened by Legionnaires’.
Cases of Legionella longbeachae, the strain of the disease linked with compost, have been rising in Scotland in recent years, with five cases linked to compost identified in the Lothians and Tayside in 2013.
Combatting Legionella & Water Treatment conference
The 12th Annual Combatting Legionella & Water Treatment conference will take place on 29-30 September at Aston Villa Park in Birmingham.
A comprehensive and cutting-edge event, the conference ensures engineering and facilities management teams are able to prevent legionella bacteria from developing and comply with water safety regulations.