- Associated Press - Thursday, June 7, 2012

LONDON (AP) - Health officials have confirmed 51 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland, an outbreak that has left one man dead.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon reported the latest number of cases in the Edinburgh-area to Scotland’s Parliament on Thursday.

She said cases had risen by 24 overnight. Another 27 people are suspected of having the illness, which is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The symptoms are similar to those of flu, including coughs, fever and chills.

The bacteria can end up in artificial water supply systems, including air conditioning units, water services and cooling towers.

Sturgeon warned that the number of people affected could continue to rise over the next week.

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