Polish Security Services Investigate Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in NATO Hub

An investigation was launched by security services in Poland to determine the source of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Rzeszów – a strategic hub for NATO and the capital of Poland’s Podkarpackie Voivodship – on 17 August, leading to at least 14 dead so far and around 150 infected people.

To ascertain whether the outbreak was a diversion or sabotage since Rzeszów is a strategically important and best-protected NATO city in Europe, the case is being investigated by Poland’s Internal Security Agency.

Legionellosis, caused by Legionella bacteria, is contagious but it’s not infectious and cannot be contracted through contact with another human being but only by inhaling the droplets created from splashing bacteria-poisoned water.

Since tests showed that water in Rzeszów’s water supply system was contaminated with Legionella bacteria, this is most likely what caused the outbreak although the system went through its yearly disinfection procedure last weekend (25-26 August), when a dose of chlorine 20 times the standard level went into the system.

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