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Global warming could increase Legionnaires' cases

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Higher temperatures and humid conditions caused by global warming could lead to an increase in Legionnaires’ disease, a study has warned.
The Health Protection Agency study looked at the association between humidity, temperature and the peak in Legionnaires’ cases over period of several years.

In 2006, which was unusually warm and humid, there were unusually high numbers of infections and deaths.

There were 551 reported cases and 52 cases compared with 389 reported cases the previous year.

Kate Ricketts, a scientist specialising in Legionnaires’ disease at the HPA’s Centre for Infections, said: ‘In this study there appears to be an increase in cases following warm, humid periods – this was especially pronounced during the summer of 2006.

‘There may be important implications for public health authorities if climate change leads to warmer temperatures.’
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