The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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No reports of anyone contracting illness after discovery of Legionella presence in Parliament

Julian Bonnici Saturday, 7 January 2017, 10:12 Last update: about 8 years ago

No one has contracted any illness following the discovery of the presence of Legionella bacteria in the Parliament building, the Speaker of the House Dr Anglu Farrugia told The Malta Independent. 

The bacteria was detected on December 22 following routine tests by the Environmental Health Directorate.

Dr Farrugia said that the bacterium was contained to small part in the toilet facilities on level three of the administrative block.

All the necessary precautions have been taken to ensure that the bacteria has been eradicated, Dr Farrugia added.

Dr Farrugia explained that an investigation involving experts from the
directorate, an industrial environmental chemist, a maintenance team from the Panta Lesco Group of Companies and the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation are currently taking place to ascertain the source of the bacterium's presence. However it is not yet known when the investigation will be concluded and results are then published.

Legionella is a type of bacterium typically found in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It only grows and spreads in human-made water systems which are poorly maintained such as air-conditioners, water tanks, heaters and large plumbing systems.

Sometimes the bacteria cause a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) called Legionnaires' disease. The bacteria can also cause a less serious infection called Pontiac fever that has symptoms similar to a mild case of the flu.

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