16 August 2005
Update On Legionnaires Disease
No new cases of Legionnaires Disease have been notified to the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health since last Friday.
Dr Mel Brieseman said a total of 18 cases had been notified in Canterbury since the beginning of the year. Information about an additional case on the West Coast was notified to CDHB authorities because the person had been in Christchurch during the incubation period.
‘There appears to be some confusion about the notifications that I want to clarify,’ he said. ‘Of the 18 cases only two people were at Christchurch Hospital during the incubation period. Two other cases were at the Hospital as outpatients possibly within the incubation period.’
Dr Brieseman said it was very important to make the distinction between those people at the hospital within the incubation period and those who had been admitted to hospital following their diagnosis.
“The CDHB’s independent testing auditors have again confirmed that the water tests at the hospital are rigidly enforced, and no strain of the disease has been found.’
Dr Brieseman said he was still asking city businesses with cooling towers to have them checked urgently. Because it took more than 8 days to get the tests checked, it was very important that they be done as soon as possible.
‘We have asked the Employers Chamber of Commerce to assist us get the message out to local businesses and they have been extremely helpful. We are also working closely with City Council staff.’