Outbreaks. Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease still go undetected, and the public hears about very few cases that are detected. However, some of the multicase outbreaks make the news. For example, an outbreak in the Netherlands, which occurred in late February-early March 1999, involved 242 cases of illness and 28 deaths. The outbreak was blamed on a whirlpool spa displayed at a trade show. Briefs on recent outbreaks are posted at www.hcinfo.com/outbreaks-news.htm.
Patient testing. Special laboratory tests are required to detect Legionnaires’ disease. Most hospitals still do not make these tests available. But a new 15-min test (by Binax Inc., www.binax.com) for a common strain of Legionella makes patient testing easier and cheaper, which should result in more testing and more diagnosed cases.