Legionella alert in east London hospital's water system

A hospital in Hornchurch, east London, has found elevated levels of the potentially deadly legionella bacteria have been found in its water system.

St George's Hospital said it is closing two wards housing 44 patients.

Admissions are closed but other services will remain open subject to ongoing review.

It said it is not uncommon for testing to detect the bacteria and most people exposed do not contract Legionnaires' disease.

Legionnaires' disease is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with legionella bacteria.

The symptoms are mild headaches, muscle pain, fever, persistent cough and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.

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