From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Mon Jan 12 1998 - 08:10:28 PST

  • Next message: Michael Wilson: "[IWAR] FMR-USSR epidemics"

       Friday January 9 6:28 PM EST 
    Sauna Linked To Fatal Legionnaire's
       NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Researchers in the Netherlands have traced six
       cases of Legionnaire's disease -- two of them fatal -- to a sauna.
       One of the fatalities was a women who had had a kidney transplant and
       died 10 days after frequenting the sauna. The other fatality was a
       59-year-old man who had no history of immunosuppression, the researchers
       In another case, a 64-year-old man was diagnosed with Legionnaire's
       disease after regularly using a footbath in the sauna, according to a
       letter in this week's edition of The Lancet. Testing revealed that his
       disease was caused by the same Legionella pneumophila strain as found in
       the woman who died. The man was treated and recovered from acute
       pneumonia caused by L. pneumophila.
       L. pneumophila is an organism that thrives in stagnant water. The
       initial symptoms are flu-like, including high fever, chills, muscle
       aches, and headache.
       J.W. Den Boer of the Municipal Health Service in Haarlem, the
       Netherlands, and colleagues at other sites in Haarlem, report that water
       from the air-perfused footbath was tested and found to contain the same
       strain of L. pneumophila.
       In light of the cases, the sauna operators changed the hot-water
       installation of the facility to prevent water from standing or flowing
       too slowly. The water also is tested regularly.
       "It has been suggested that regular sauna bathing reduces the incidence
       of certain infections, although our report describes the first
       documented cases of lethal sauna-associated Legionnaire's disease, and
       confirms existing knowledge of long-lasting spread of L. pneumophila due
       to a persistent source of infection," the researchers report. SOURCE:
       The Lancet (1998;351:114)

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