by VR Sreeraman on  August 14, 2007 at 3:28 PM General Health News
Second Man Dies from Legionnaires' Disease in Spain
A second man has died from Legionnaires' disease during an outbreak in southern Spain, authorities said Monday.

The 69-year-old man died on Sunday in the Malaga hospital where he had been since June 29, they said.

A 68-year-old Briton who caught the disease during the same outbreak died on July 9. A total of 18 people were affected, three of whom are still in hospital.

The site of the outbreak was Benalmadena, in the province of Malaga, Andalusia, where experts found a high level of legionella bacteria in the refrigeration tower of a sports club that had an ice rink among its facilities.

Legionnaires' disease -- first discovered at an American Legion convention in the United States in 1976, where 29 people died -- causes high fever, dry cough, lung congestion and subsequent pneumonia.

It is commonly spread through contaminated water sources, air conditioners and ventilators and is treated with antibiotics. People aged 50 or older are mainly affected but it cannot be spread from human to human.

Spain has been the European country most affected by the disease, which is attributed to the high number of air conditioning units installed there.

Source: AFP

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