A crisis team chaired by the health minister is investigating the possibility that the municipal water supply network in Rzeszow is the source of a deadly outbreak of the Legionella bacterium that has hit the south-eastern city.
The number of deaths caused by the Legionella pneumophilia bacterium in the city rose to four on Wednesday night while and 71 remain in hospital, 10 of whom are in intensive care.
The bacterium can cause Legionnaires disease, a sometimes lethal form of pneumonia.
“The possibility that the municipal water supply network is the source of infection is being investigated,” the Health Ministry said on social media on Wednesday night, adding that “a strategy for further steps to extinguish the outbreak of the disease, which the appropriate authorities need to enact immediately, has been established.”
On Thursday morning a meeting regarding the situation of Legionella infections in the region attended by Konrad Fijolek, the city mayor, Jaromir Slaczka, the head of the Rzeszow Sanitary Inspectorate, took place.
It follows a late-night meeting of a crisis team chaired by Katarzyna Sojka, the health minister.
As a further indication of the seriousness of the situation in the south-eastern city, PAP learned that Waldemar Kraska, a deputy health minister and the chairman of the Minister’s Crisis Management Team, is to travel to Rzeszow on Thursday.