Legionnaires’ disease - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2014
Legionnaires’ disease remains an uncommon, mainly sporadic respiratory infection with low notification rates in EU/EEA countries (overall 1.4 per 100 000 inhabitants).
- Legionnaires’ disease remains an uncommon, mainly sporadic respiratory infection with low notification rates in EU/EEA countries (overall 1.4 per 100 000 inhabitants).
- Five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain) accounted for 74% of notified cases.
- One outbreak involving more than 400 cases occurred in Vila Franca de Xira near Lisbon, Portugal.
- Regular checks for Legionella and appropriate control measures in man-made water systems may prevent a significant proportion of Legionnaires’ disease cases.
This surveillance report is based on Legionnaires’ disease (LD) surveillance data collected by the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) for 2014. ELDSNet involves 30 EU/EEA Member States (28 EU Member States plus Iceland and Norway).
The surveillance data were collected through two different schemes:
- Annual retrospective data collection of LD cases in EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.
- Near-real-time reporting of travel-associated cases of Legionnaires’ disease (TALD), including reports from countries outside the EU/EEA. This scheme aims primarily at identifying clusters of cases that may otherwise not have been detected at the national level, which makes it possible to quickly investigate the reports and take control measures at the implicated accommodation sites to prevent further infections.
In 2014, disease surveillance can be summarised as follows:
All 30 EU/EEA Member States reported case-based LD data. Countries were asked to report cases in accordance with the 2012 EU/EEA case definition: probable cases with an epidemiological link only should no longer be reported.
Twenty-five EU/EEA countries and seven non-EU/EEA countries reported TALD cases. TALD cases are defined as travellers having stayed at a commercial or public accommodation site in the two to ten days before onset of disease. It does not include cases of LD among travellers who stayed with relatives or friends.
A single TALD case was defined as a person who stayed at an accommodation site not associated with LD cases in the previous two years. A TALD cluster was defined as two or more cases who stayed at the same accommodation site and whose dates of onset were within two years of each other.
A summary of national surveillance systems characteristics is available in the Annex.