updated 8/9/2007 3:57:55 PM ET 2007-08-09T19:57:55

British health officials said Thursday they are investigating a case of Legionnaires' disease in a person who had worked at the government's Institute for Animal Health.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

The person had been working as a contractor in a building at the institute's Pirbright site in southern England, which is also being investigated as a possible source of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in livestock nearby.

A spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency said there was no link between the two diseases.

John Anderson, of the Institute of Animal Health, said a contractor working at the site had tested positive for a low level of legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

He told reporters that the level had been within safe limits and claimed reporting of the case had been a "regrettable distraction" to work to tackle the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The health agency said the case was discovered in June, and an investigation at the institute had found small traces of legionella. Legionnaires' is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria in water droplets.

A preliminary investigation had found the institute "was carrying out all necessary maintenance and monitoring work in compliance with the Approved Code of Practice for the control of legionella," the agency said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments