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Portuguese investigators hunt for source of Legionnaires' outbreak

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Portuguese investigators hunt for source of Legionnaires' outbreak

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An outbreak of Legionnaires disease is causing grave concern in Portugal prompting the country’s president to make a statement.

At least five people have died and more than 230 cases reported since Thursday.

The source of the outbreak is unknown as investigators focus on an area on the outskirts of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, near the neighbouring city of Vila Franca,

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva said:

“We have to trust the health authorities on this matter because they are doing all they can to help, support and treat those who are affected.”

The disease is contracted by breathing in a mist or vapour contaminated with the Legionella bacteria which can grow in cooling towers, showers and air conditioning systems.

Schools and other public buildings in the suspect area have been closed as the investigation continues.