Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Portugal


On 9th November, WHO was notified by Portugal of a large outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Vila Franca de Xira, a suburban area of Lisbon. As of November 12th, 302 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been notified and so far 5 deaths have been confirmed as due to the disease. Four more deaths are being investigated. To date no case has been confirmed outside Portugal. This is the largest Legionnaires’ disease outbreak ever identified in Portugal and is evolving rapidly, and so is considered a major public health emergency. At present a regional outbreak investigation team is in place being assisted by a larger team of national experts.  Precautionary measures have been implemented including closure of all ornamental fountains and industrial cooling towers  in the  affected area. The investigation is ongoing.

Further information:
WHO: Legionnaires' disease, Portugal
ECDC: Rapid Risk Assessment: Outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Lisbon area, Portugal
HPSC: Legionnaires' disease