2019 - another year recording a high number of Legionnaires’ disease cases

For the third year in a row, a high number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease was reported to Statens Serum Institut.

Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has recently published an annual report with the number of legionella pneumonia/Legionnaires' disease cases in 2019.

The new figures reveal that the number of cases remained largely unchanged compared with 2018. Following a general increase in the number of cases from 2012 to 2016, the number increased considerably in 2017 to a total of 278 cases EPI-NEWS 45/18. In 2018, the total number of cases recorded was 266 EPI-NEWS 19/19, and in 2019 a total of 269 cases were notified. Thus, 2019 also recorded a high number of detected cases.

The majority had become infected in Denmark

The SSI’s figures also show that as many as 217 (80%) of the 269 cases had probably become infected in Denmark. The vast majority had presumably become infected in their home. Twelve of the patients had become infected in hospitals, ten at nursing homes, and four are believed to have become infected while travelling in Denmark.

A total of 55 patients became infected during travels abroad. In 2019, as previously, the most frequent travel destination was Italy with 11 cases. For many years, Italy has been the country where the highest number of Danes and Europeans have become infected with Legionnaires' disease.

Highest incidence recorded on Funen

For many years, the Funen province has recorded the highest detected incidence of Legionnaires' disease in Denmark.

This was also the case last year. In 2019, Funen thus recorded an incidence of 9.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which is higher than any other incidence recorded in a Danish province to date.

Preliminary results from a study on the association between testing activity and the number of detected cases indicate that a high testing activity on Funen may, in part, explain the high number of cases recorded.

Read more

See the annual report on Legionnaires’ disease.