'Cluster' of cases of Legionnaires' disease confirmed in Surrey

Hampton Beach N.H

Fraser Health Authority confirmed the "cluster" of cases on Saturday, adding it likely started in Surrey, B.C., a suburb east of Vancouver.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by a bacteria known as Legionella, which is commonly found in the natural environment, including freshwater, groundwater and the soil.

This is a serious situation since there are no vaccines that can prevent Legionnaires' disease, which is bacterial pneumonia, caused by the Legionella bacteria. Yet, only a small fraction of people get sick from exposure to the Legionella baceria, health department officials said a year ago, which typically afflicts those who are older, or who have weakened immune systems.

In a release, Fraser Health said it is investigating the source of the bacteria.

New Hampshire health officials have identified two more people who have confirmed cases of Legionnaire's Disease in Hampton, New Hampshire, bringing the number of cases to 14, one which proved to be fatal.

Tropical Storm Gordon Forms Over Upper Keys, Lashes South Florida
After moving northwest, the next landfall for Gordon will likely be somewhere in southeastern Louisiana or southern Mississippi. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for South Florida , and from the Florida-Alabama border west to near Morgan City, La.

The 14 victims are believed to have acquired their infections between early June and mid-August.

Test results from other locations in the affected area are still pending. The symptoms are similar to general pneumonia, which includes cough, fever, headaches, muscle ache, and shortness of breath.

Bagley said this particular bacterial infection can not be passed from person-to-person. Symptoms will usually begin within 2 to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria.

Those with symptoms should call their doctor and ask about testing for Legionnaires' disease. However, individuals who are at a higher risk of the disease should continue to take steps to protect their health, which includes postponing a visit to the area if they are concerned about their health.

However, people should watch for symptoms for about two weeks after exposure.

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