Alert after Legionnaires’ disease case in baby in England


Following a single case of Legionnaires’ disease identified in a baby born at home in a heated birthing pool, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England have temporarily advised against the home use of this specific type of pool. The baby is currently receiving intensive care treatment in hospital.

Samples taken from the heated birthing pool used have confirmed the presence of legionella bacteria, which cause Legionnaires’ disease. Tests are ongoing to establish if it is the same strain which infected the baby. This is the first reported case of Legionnaires’ disease linked to a birthing pool in England, although there have been 2 cases reported internationally some years ago.

Legionnaires' Disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila and other Legionella species.

Further information:
Public Health England Press Release: Alert after Legionnaires’ disease case in baby
NHS England Patient Safety Alert: Legionella and heated birthing pools filled in advance of labour in home settings 17/6/14
National Guidelines for Control of Legionellosis in Ireland
Legionnaires' Disease Factsheets