N.B. officials probe legionnaires' disease outbreak with seven cases in Moncton

New Brunswick Government

New Brunswick health officials are warning that seven cases of legionnaires' disease have been detected in the Moncton area.

Dr. Cristin Muecke, deputy chief medical officer of health, says her team is investigating to determine the potential sources of the legionella bacteria.

The bacteria can be found in both natural bodies of water, such as ponds, lakes and streams, and in water systems such as some air conditioners, cooling towers, whirlpools, spas and decorative fountains.

Muecke says the bacteria are not spread person to person or by drinking water. They are spread when present in a water source and fine mists of water from that source are inhaled.

She says older people, those with weakened immune systems or chronic diseases, smokers, alcoholics and persons working with man-made water systems are at greater risk of developing the disease, a severe form of pneumonia.

In New Brunswick, 28 cases were reported to public health officials between 2015 and 2018.