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Rare Infectious Disease Outbreak Reported In Western Sydney

Health officials are investigating an outbreak of a rare infectious disease at a retirement village in western Sydney after three reported cases in less than a week.

Two of the men were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease October 19, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that the third, diagnosed October 25, remains in hospital in a stable condition.

All three patients are residents of Oatlands Garden Retirement Village and the Western Sydney Local Health District Public Health Unit are now looking into whether the outbreak can be linked to a common source.

Legionnaires' disease is a rare lung infection caused by legionella bacteria, which can be found in the water and soil; the disease can be contracted by breathing in in a contaminated environment.

The concern is that Legionnaires' has also been found in man-made water structures like spa pools but initial investigations have ruled out contamination of any cooling towers in western Sydney.

According to Public Health Unit director Shopna Bag, the village has put control measures in place while investigations are carried out.

Residents, visitors and staff at the retirement home are being urged to look out for symptoms, which include a cough, shortness of breath, fever and chills.

Patients may also experience tiredness, headaches, a loss of appetite and diarrhoea; for more information you can visit the NSW Health website here.

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