NSW Health is warning people to watch for symptoms after five people developed Legionnaires’ disease after spending time in Sydney’s CBD.
Five people have been affected by Legionnaires’ disease after spending time in Sydney’s CBD in the last three weeks.
NSW Health advises people who have visited the area in the last 10 days to be vigilant and watch for symptoms, which include fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath.
The disease can also cause serious chest infections, such as pneumonia.
The bacteria that cause the disease are often linked to contaminated cooling towers in large buildings.
Exposure to the bacteria is usually airborne when water particles from the cooling system become airborne and are breathed in, NSW Health said.
People who develop Legionnaires’ disease are diagnosed by chest x-ray and urinalysis, and tend to require antibiotic treatment in hospital.
The infected people, two women and three men, aged between 40 and 70 years, independently visited places between Museum Station, York St, Park St and Martin Place before developing symptoms.
They have all been admitted to hospital for treatment.
These five cases follow several recently identified cases of the illness in Sydney.
NSW Public Health units are tracking all legionnaire cases and working with local councils to manage cooling towers.
In Sydney, NSW Health environmental health officials are working with the City of Sydney to review the testing and maintenance records of all cooling towers in the CBD area.
Routine testing of cooling towers helps identify contamination early and business owners are reminded of their obligations under the 2012 Public Health Regulation, NSW Health said.
Legionnaires’ disease cannot be spread from person to person.