Four people have contracted Legionnaires disease after spending time around Town Hall. Photo: Steven Siewert
Health authorities suspect that an infected air conditioning unit may be responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires disease around Town Hall station.
Four men are receiving treatment for Legionnaires disease in hospital after spending time in the Druitt, Market, Sussex and Pitt street areas.
The bacterial lung infection causes fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath, and is occasionally fatal.
It occurs after a person breathes in contaminated water or dust, and outbreaks have been associated with the large air conditioning units used to treat large buildings, where the bacteria gets into the water supply that cools the system and multiplies.
The time from exposure to the development of symptoms is two to 10 days.
NSW Health Director Communicable Diseases Vicky Sheppeard said people who developed the disease were diagnosed by x-ray or a urine test and usually required antibiotic treatment in hospital.
NSW Health and City of Sydney inspectors are investigating cooling towers in the CBD, starting in the Town Hall area.
More to come