As reported on 23 January 2019, NSW Health has been investigating cases of legionnaires disease who had spent time in Sydney’s central business district (CBD) during the past month.
Visiting the CBD is very common so the occurrence of Legionnaires’ disease arising in several people who visited the city during the Christmas New Year period may be coincidental. However as a precautionary measure South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit and the City of Sydney Council have reviewed cooling towers in the area to check that none are likely to be a source of infection. No common source of infection has been identified.
Since 23 January, two patients, in addition to the original 4, have been identified. One visited the CDB in December and another visited in January.
Under the NSW Public Health Act and Regulations, building owners and occupiers are obliged to check that their cooling towers are well maintained and clean, to check bacterial levels each month and report high levels of bacteria to local council.
Public Health Units follow up every case of Legionnaires’ disease. As a routine, when cases report visiting common areas, NSW Health works with local councils to ensure cooling towers in the affected areas are properly maintained.
For more information about water cooling systems management contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 or go to information on legionella control.