The number of people in the south-eastern region of Podkarpackie in hospital with infections caused by the Legionella pneumophilia bacteria has risen to 51, the head of Rzeszow Sanitary Inspectorate has told PAP.
The bacteria has already claimed the life of person who was undergoing treatment for cancer, and, according to health officials, had low immunity.
Jaromir Slaczka said that the local health department had initiated an investigation to track down the source of the bacteria, which can lead to Legionnaires disease, a sometimes lethal form of pneumonia
Water samples have been taken from the homes of infected people, and hot water supplies in nursing homes, hospitals and public buildings are also under suspicion.
According to data from the Rzeszow Sanitary Inspector, Legionella bacteria infections were confirmed in 49 hospitalised people in Rzeszow and in the Rzeszow region.
Two other people have been hospitalised in the town of Debica. All of those infected worked in Rzeszow on a daily basis.
Slaczka also said that 28 new infections occurred in patients who had already been patients in hospitals for some time.