Legal Experts Representing Victims Voice Their Initial Concerns
Illness experts at Irwin Mitchell who are representing dozens of victims of Legionnaires’ Disease in Edinburgh and elsewhere in the UK and abroad have revealed their concerns over reports of at least nine people being treated for the disease in Stoke-on-Trent.
As the number of confirmed cases has increased today from 7 to 9, there are concerns that this number may rise further. The Health Protection Agency ( HPA) has stated that two other cases are being investigated from earlier this year which may also be linked to this latest outbreak. The disease has a typical incubation period of between 2-10 days.
Clive Garner, a specialist at Irwin Mitchell, has extensive experience of representing victims of Legionnaires’ Disease and the families of those tragically killed by the disease.
Garner said: “It is very worrying to see the number of confirmed Legionnaires’ Disease cases increasing and sadly until the source of the outbreak is detected and made safe there is a clear risk that others may fall victim to this terrible illness. Our thoughts are with all of those affected by this latest outbreak in Stoke.
“The immediate priority is the health and welfare of the victims and detection of the source of the Legionella bacteria to prevent the infection spreading to other members of the public. The authorities will be working hard to detect the source of the infections and it is crucial that if members of the public do start experiencing any of the symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease, they seek immediate medical assistance.”
Irwin Mitchell is currently representing more than 30 people who fell victim to the recent Legionnaires’ outbreak in Edinburgh . Lawyers in the firm including Garner have vast experience of acting for victims of Legionnaires’ Disease.
Other recent cases being pursued by the firm include those for the victims of the recent outbreak among guests at the Diamante Beach hotel in Calpe, Spain. In that case the law firm has been instructed by the families of four British guests who sadly died as well as several other victims left seriously ill.
Garner added: “There are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection with Legionella bacteria. The disease is normally contracted by inhaling contaminated droplets of water. Typically sources include contaminated water droplets from cooling towers, showers, air conditioning systems, fountains or water features.
“In our experience the reason for infection has usually been the failure to take simple preventative steps. These include maintaining stored water within the safe temperature range and making use of an appropriate level of chlorination. Protocols specifically designed to reduce the risk of infection are widely known and it is a concern to see several major outbreaks within a few months.”