The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health has confirmed to Global News that as of Friday there are nine confirmed cases of legionnaires’ disease in the Moncton area.
That’s two more than when the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced the outbreak on Thursday.
There is still no word on the source of the disease but all cases are believed to be linked by time and location.
Dr. Cristin Muecke, the deputy chief medical officer of health, recommends individuals who become ill with pneumonia-like or respiratory symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and headache, promptly seek medical care or call 811.
Legionnaires is a disease caused by bacteria called Legionella. These bacteria are found worldwide.
They can be found in both natural bodies of water such as ponds, lakes and streams and in constructed water systems such as air conditioners, cooling towers, whirlpools, spas and decorative fountains.
Muecke said the disease is treatable with antibiotics, but people often need to be hospitalized. It can also cause serious consequences if it goes untreated.
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New Brunswick Public Health said in a news release that people do not become ill from Legionella by drinking water and that home and car air conditioning units do not use water to cool, so they are not a risk for Legionella.
“Although legionellosis is not spread person to person, it is spread when the bacteria are present in an infected water source and fine mists of water from that source are inhaled,” said Muecke.
In New Brunswick, 28 cases were reported to Public Health between 2015 and 2018.
With files from Aya Al-Hakim, Callum Smith
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