Refrigeration teams in Quebec City are investigating a defective system that could be involved in the Legionnaire's outbreak.
Credits: RENE BAILLARGEON/QMI AGENCY
In total, 104 people in the Quebec City area have become infected with the deadly virus since mid-July.
Legionnaire's disease can cause a severe pneumonia-like condition, a high fever and bloody coughing spells and usually affects those who are middle-aged or older.
Francois Desbiens, head of Quebec City's health authority, tried to assuage citizens' concerns by noting that people don't have to change their habits.
"People in good health generally aren't at risk," he said. "And people who are at-risk ... if they notice symptoms, should immediately contact a doctor or call the emergency line."
The city's medical authorities said the outbreak is the worst the country has seen in years and they don't know how it started.
Authorities said the bacteria can spread through ventilation systems.
Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume told a news conference Friday that he visited rooftop cooling towers and found many to be in "deplorable" and even "catastrophic" condition.
Labeaume demanded the province force all building owners to regularly inspect air conditioning systems. The Liberal government complied and said it would introduce heavy fines for owners who do not properly inspect and disinfect their ventilation systems.
Quebec City officials said teams have already conducted 89 inspection and disinfection sweeps of air-conditioning systems.