Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Scotland grows to 51 cases
(CBS/AP) LONDON - Health officials have confirmed 51 cases of Legionnaires' disease in Scotland, an outbreak that has left one man dead.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon reported the latest number of cases in the Edinburgh-area to Scotland's Parliament on Thursday.
Estimates reported earlier this week said there were 15 cases of the bacterial infection in addition to the death of a man in his 50s who had underlying health conditions.
Sturgeon said cases had risen by 24 overnight. Another 27 people are suspected of having the illness, which is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The bacteria can end up in artificial water supply systems, including air conditioning units, water services and cooling towers.
Symptoms of Legionnaires' can develop two to 14 days within exposure to Legionella, and include headache, muscle pain, fever, chills that progress into a cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion and other mental changes, or gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Antibiotics are often prescribed but starting therapy later can result in serious complications or death. An estimated 10 percent of people who contract Legionnaires' disease will die from complications, BBC News reported.
Sturgeon warned that the number of people affected could continue to rise over the next week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on Legionnaires' disease.
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