At the end of November, legionella infections were discovered in Grobbendonk, Herentals, Lille, Vorselaar, and Herenthout. Legionella is a bacterium that grows in standing water at temperatures ranging from 20°C to 50°C. If it is then nebulized into the air, the bacteria can spread through small water droplets and reach the lungs via the nose or mouth.
Because this bacterium can have serious consequences for those who become infected, the Agency for Care and Health immediately begins looking for the source. Samples were collected at various businesses and organisations in Grobbendonk and Herentals. This also happened at the biogas company Albertstroom, which is located near the Albert Canal.
At this point, we assume the source is under control.
“During the first sample, we already took steps to limit aerosol emissions. When you hear the word legionella and learn that people have become ill or have died as a result of it, that is reason enough for us to take this seriously “Albertstroom’s spokesperson, Peter Vandeputte, told RTV. “We have worked well together (with the Agency for Care and Health, ed.) to quickly eliminate potential sources. As a result, for the time being, we assume they are under control.”
The shutdown of potential sources occurred between December 3 and December 18. Legionella has an incubation period of 19 days. People may still become ill as a result of this. As a result, the Herentals hospital, general practitioners, and other healthcare providers have been advised to be on the lookout for signs of an infection.
Albertstroom processes organic waste and uses it to generate biogas. This is burned in engines to generate electricity.