Rolling epidemic of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in small geographic areas

C. Raina MacIntyre, Amalie Dyda, Chau Minh Bui, Abrar Ahmad Chughtai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Legionnaires' disease (LD) is reported from many parts of the world, mostly linked to drinking water sources or cooling towers. We reviewed two unusual rolling outbreaks in Sydney and New York, each clustered in time and space. Data on these outbreaks were collected from public sources and compared to previous outbreaks in Australia and the US. While recurrent outbreaks of LD over time linked to an identified single source have been described, multiple unrelated outbreaks clustered in time and geography have not been previously described. We describe unusual geographic and temporal clustering of Legionella outbreaks in two cities, each of which experienced multiple different outbreaks within a small geographic area and within a short timeframe. The explanation for this temporal and spatial clustering of LD outbreaks in two cities is not clear, but climate variation and deteriorating water sanitation are two possible explanations. There is a need to critically analyse LD outbreaks and better understand changing trends to effectively prevent disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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