There's been an outbreak of Legionnaires disease in Sydney

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An outbreak of Legionnaire's disease is being investigated by NSW Health after a common source - Castle Hill - was identified between ill individuals.

According to NSW Healthall three cases developed the bacterial infection, Legionella pneumophila, from contaminated water droplets around February 3 - 5.

NSW Health have said The Hills Shire Council and public health units have commenced precautionary inspections of cooling towers in Castle Hill, as outbreaks can be associated with contaminated air conditioning systems in large buildings.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, NSW Health’s Director Communicable Diseases, said Legionnaires’ disease causes fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath.

“The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically between two and 10 days, so people who were exposed could have symptoms already or develop them over the next week,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease live in water and can multiply in the water used to cool air conditioning systems, so infection is prevented by routinely maintaining and treating these systems."

“People outside can be exposed to the bacteria when a water cooling system emits contaminated water particles into the air."

For more information on symptoms visit Heath Direct.

Legionnaires' disease cannot be spread from person to person.

Image: Getty

Written By Ally Parker