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Legionnaires' disease strikes new hospital
PARIS, France -- Four cases of the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital, marking another embarrassment for the new facility.
Paris hospital officials said four people had contracted the bacterial illness, most often caused by inhaling mist from contaminated water sources, over the past month.
A doctor said one of the people suffering from the illness had died, but "not because of Legionnaires' disease."
The French government has called the 827-bed ultra-modern complex in southwest Paris the hospital of the future. It was opened in July and inaugurated last week by President Jacques Chirac after many delays.
The hospital has suffered from humidity, recurring leaks and malfunctioning medical equipment.
The 1.8 billion French franc ($255 million) hospital's hallmark -- a supposedly state-of-the-art computer system -- has been afflicted with costly glitches and is barely functioning.
Legionnaires' disease was first recognized in 1976, when an outbreak occurred among people attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills and a cough.
People with weakened immune systems and middle-aged and older persons, particularly those who smoke or have chronic lung disease, are most susceptible to the illness.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Legionnaire's Disease - General Information
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