The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement this week there wasn’t any abnormal incidence of Legionella with “only” three cases officially recorded in Macau this year.
The patients in the three cases were a 62-year-old man, a 66-year-old woman, and a 43-year-old woman who were diagnosed with the potentially fatal disease in August, September and this month respectively.
According to the statement released by the bureau on Sunday, SSM officials on December 7 inspected a building near Praça de Luís de Camões, where the last patient lives. The bureau took water samples from the building as well as from the fountain in the nearby Luís de Camões Park. None of the samples taken from the patient’s building showed any signs of Legionella bacteria, according to the statement.
However, in three of the four samples taken from the park’s fountain, there were small amounts of Legionella bacteria present, the bureau said.
Among the three samples, the bureau recorded that the highest sample had a concentration of 0.6 CFU/ml. The bureau said in the statement that the sample’s concentration was below the European Union’s standard of 1 CFU/ml in this kind of water, and way below the 10 CFU/ml, where immediate action is required.
The fountain has been turned off since December 6 for cleaning and disinfection.
The statement urged the public not to worry as Legionella bacteria occurs in free flowing water as well as purpose-built water systems. It referred to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s data about the bacteria’s incidence in Europe, Australia, and the US, where incidence of the bacteria is between 10 to 15 cases in a population of a million a year, adding there were no abnormalities detected in the city this year.