An outbreak of Legionnaires ’ disease in Quebec City, the capital of Canada's French-speaking province Quebec, has killed at least 11 people since July, according to local public health officials. The city's public health board said on Monday that the number of those who have been diagnosed with the disease so far rose to 173 from 158 last Friday, Xinhua reported. Authorities believe the new cases have developed over the last 10 to 15 days, as the disease has an incubation period of two to 10 days.
The high-rise cooling systems are believed to be the breeding grounds for the deadly bacteria behind the disease, known as Legionnella, which then spread in droplets through ventilation.The Quebec provincial government has called for a public inquiry into the outbreak. Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of lung infection (pneumonia) and poses a risk for people with weak immune systems. The disease can, however, be treated with antibiotics. MN/AS