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The Victorian Department of Human Services has confirmed that as of 3 May 2000, the number of cases of Legionnaires' disease from an outbreak associated with the Melbourne Aquarium, has reached 58. Cases range in age from 26 to 89 years, and include two deaths. All except one had been at or near the Aquarium between the dates of April 11 and 21. One case had visited the Aquarium on 25 April. Of the 58 confirmed cases, 57 had visited the Aquarium and the other case had walked close by.
The Department is awaiting test results on a further 35 people who had been to the Aquarium and who have developed respiratory symptoms. These include two patients from New South Wales, four from Tasmania, one from Queensland, two from New Zealand and one from the United Kingdom. The Department established a Legionnaires' disease Hotline on 27 April; the first day that the outbreak was identified. This call centre has taken in excess of 5,000 calls, mainly from members of the public with concerns about the disease. The Hotline number is 1300 365 677.
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 24, No 4, April 2000.