4 new cases of legionnaires' disease unrelated to outbreak, Public Health says
16 people in Moncton area became sick with a strain of the illness earlier this year
Four new cases of legionnaires' disease have been reported since an outbreak of the severe form of pneumonia that sickened 16 people in the Moncton area was declared over.
Dr. Yves Léger, regional medical officer of health, said in an email that the cases are unrelated to the recent outbreak, which was declared over on Sept 10.
"Legionnaires is a underdiagnosed disease and as I previously stated, we were expecting to find cases after the outbreak was declared over given the heightened awareness in the medical community," Léger said.
Léger said the strains in the four newer cases do not match the outbreak strain, and are unrelated to each other.
"These four cases are what we call sporadic, i.e. they are not related to each other, and don't have a common source such as a cooling tower."
The province has continued to keep the locations of sites tested for legionella bacteria this summer a secret.
A letter from Health Minister Ted Flemming cites financial impact as the reason the information was withheld from the public.
Léger previously told reporters that cooling towers in western Moncton were tested and confirmed to be the source of the outbreak, but refused to disclose the location. He said it could cause people to avoid the area, even though the issue has been fixed.
Several of the people who became ill during the outbreak have spoken publicly to say they're upset the province has kept the source secret.