Public Health has been investigating a Legionella outbreak in the New Glasgow area since early July. After several weeks with no new cases, and re-testing to ensure the absence of Legionella bacteria where it was previously discovered, this outbreak is now considered over.
In total, 10 cases associated with the outbreak were confirmed by laboratory testing, and 22 were considered probable.
On August 3 it was announced that Legionella bacteria was found in a cooling tower at the Aberdeen Hospital. Immediate action was taken by the facility to fully clean and disinfect the tower, and re-testing has confirmed that no further Legionella bacteria was detected. The cooling tower has been turned back on, with no identified risk to patients, staff or the public in the surrounding area.
Public Health continues to await testing results to determine whether the Legionella bacteria found in the tower is the same type that caused illness in a confirmed case. This testing can take several weeks.
With a commitment to consistent, proactive quality improvement, Nova Scotia Health is currently reviewing its Legionella testing policies across the province to ensure consistency and increase frequency.
Legionella is common in Nova Scotia’s environment, however the risk of infection is generally low. Learn more: https://www.nshealth.ca/news/legionella-frequently-asked-questions.