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David Sassoli absent in EU Parliament due to Legionnaires' disease

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By Euronews
European Parliament President David Sassoli speaks during the opening of the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Monday June 7, 2021.
European Parliament President David Sassoli speaks during the opening of the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Monday June 7, 2021.   -   Copyright  Frederick Florin/AP Photo

European Parliament President David Sassoli has said he will return to his duties "soon" after medical tests related to a case of Legionnaires' disease.

Sassoli, 65, was first hospitalised in September in Strasbourg with a "bad case of pneumonia" due to the bacteria Legionella, the parliament president said in a video statement posted to Twitter.

"I had a very high fever and was hospitalised in Strasbourg. I then returned to Italy to recover, but unfortunately, I had a relapse," Sassoli said.

Doctors recommended a series of medical tests that he is currently undergoing, stating that they were working to make sure he could return to his post "as soon as possible".

Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella. It's often caused by breathing in droplets of water containing the bacteria.

While it's usually found in freshwater environments such as lakes, it can spread through cooling towers, hot tubs or decorative fountains.

Older adults, smokers and people with underlying illnesses are more at risk for the disease.