NHS England has issued an urgent health alert after an infant was admitted to intensive care suffering from a confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease. In light of the case, experts at leading legionella risk management company, Legionella Control International are now working closely with their own NHS and health sector clients to investigate the conditions surrounding the case and rapidly implement measures to control the risks of further contaminations.

Samples taken from the heated birthing pool in which the child was born have tested positive for legionella bacteria which is thought to be directly linked to the baby’s serious lung infection. In light of the current situation, tens of thousands of women across the UK have been warned against home water births and the use of heated birthing pools until a complete risk assessment and management strategy have been put into place.

Professor Nick Phin, Public Health England’s head of Legionnaires’ disease control, said “This is an extremely unusual situation, which we are taking very seriously… As a precaution, we advise that heated birthing pools, filled in advance of labour and where the temperature is then maintained by use of a heater and pump, are not used in the home setting, while we investigate further and until definitive advice on disinfection and safety is available.”