"A probable case of legionnaires' disease has been reported [causada pela bactéria ‘legionella’], in a patient who was hospitalized at the Évora EPE (Espírito Santo Hospital of Évora), "the director of the Department of Public Health of Alentejo, Filomena Araújo, said in a statement today.
She was contacted by the agency Lusa, Filomena Araújo, who is also delegate of Regional Health of the Alentejo, said that the patient in question "is a lady", who has already been discharged from HESE and is "hospitalized in another hospital" in another region of the country.
"The patient was discharged on the 22nd," that is, last Wednesday, "and we received notice of the suspicion of the disease on the 23rd," he added to Lusa.
According to the director of the Department of Public Health, "it is still a suspicion, the disease is not confirmed, nor where it may have been the focus of infection."
In the statement, it is stated that "although the origin of this probable case can not be said to be associated with HESE," the health authorities and the hospital's board of directors "are already conducting an epidemiological and environmental inquiry."
"The authorities also implemented preventive and precautionary measures to ensure the reinforcement of epidemiological surveillance, environmental vigilance and preventive measures for the safety of all patients and professionals," read in the note sent to Lusa, in which Filomena Araújo guarantees that , "So far, there is no confirmation of any further suspicion or similar case".
Refusing to be alarmed, she explained that "since the patient was admitted to the hospital, the measures recommended by the good practices" are being followed, for example "cleaning and disinfecting the unit".
"We have taken the precautionary and precautionary measures that are required to see if there were other cases, which we have not identified so far. And we have adopted water disinfection measures from the hospital's distribution network to avoid any problems, "he said.
Despite this, he pointed out, there is no restriction on water consumption: "The disease is not transmitted by drinking water, it is only through the inhalation of aerosols."
"At HESE all safety measures are taken, there is no risk for users and professionals. And for the general population, there is also no risk in terms of public water supply, "said Filomena Araújo, referring that the investigation" will continue ".
The legionella bacterium is responsible for legionnaires' disease, a form of severe pneumonia that usually begins with dry cough, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and breathing difficulties, and abdominal pain and diarrhea may also occur.
The incubation of the disease takes place five to six days after the infection, and can go up to ten days.
The infection can be contracted by air (respiratory), by inhaling droplets of water or by aspiration of contaminated water. Although severe, the infection has effective treatment.