Health chiefs say the results of an investigation into how a fifth worker at a South Tyneside factory at the heart of a Legionnaires’ Disease contracted the potentially lethal bug will be finalised within weeks.
Public Health England (PHE) launched a probe after an agency worker at Faltec Europe Ltd, in Boldon Business Park, was diagnosed with the disease in December.
A report will be finalised in the next few weeks.Dr Kirsty Foster
Four other Faltec workers – and a resident whose home overlooks the premises – were diagnosed between October 2014 and May 2015.
All those affected were later discharged from hospital.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) forced bosses to shut down four cooling towers last June after significant levels of the bacteria were discovered on site, before safety notices imposed were lifted last September when recommended improvements were put in place.
The latest case triggered a second PHE investigation into the source of the infection, with experts refusing to rule out a link to Faltec, a car industry supplier which employs nearly 500 people.
PHE Consultant in Health Protection, Dr Kirsty Foster said: “The investigation into a case of Legionella reported in December 2015, possibly associated to Faltec, has now concluded and a report will be finalised in the next few weeks.”