New Brunswick will still not confirm the source of a legionnaires outbreak even as the number of confirmed cases has climbed to 16 people.
Dr. Yves Léger, the regional medical officer of health, confirmed on Thursday that there have been four more confirmed cases since they last provided an update on Aug. 22, but there have been no fatalities as a result of the outbreak and that all cases are recovering.
Léger also confirmed that tests have confirmed that the strain of bacteria found at a contaminated site is the same as the strain found in the affected patients.
The health department says that they believe there is still only one location that is the source of the legionnaires’ bacteria but that there is still “no benefit” to identifying the location as it has already taken actions to address the bacteria.
Dr. Cristin Muecke, the deputy chief medical officer of health, has recommended 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.
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The disease is treatable with antibiotics, but people often need to be hospitalized. It can also cause serious consequences if it goes untreated.
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.
In New Brunswick, 28 cases were reported to public health between 2015 and 2018.
With files from Aya Al-Hakim and Callum Smith