In the period August to September 2013, six confirmed and one probable case of Legionnaires’ disease caused by L. longbeachae were reported in NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside.
The six confirmed cases were severely unwell and all required treatment in intensive care units, including ventilation. All cases survived. The majority of cases were keen gardeners and had exposure to growing media, soils and water in the garden during their incubation period.
Prior to this cluster, eleven sporadic cases of Legionnaires’ disease caused by L. longbeachae infection had been reported to Health Protection Scotland, in the period 2008 to 2013. Given the unprecedented concurrent nature and close geographical proximity of these cases, an investigation was undertaken. Due to cases being identified in two NHS boards, the investigation was co-ordinated by HPS.
This report details the investigation undertaken.