Legionnaires Disease Outbreak Hong Kong update 15 Feb 2020 Cold Weather

There are countless poorly informed commentators that promulgate the myth that Legionnaires Disease is only warm-weather / summer time disease, it’s not, and never has been.

It’s winter in Hong Kong and we have an ongoing Legionnaires Disease Outbreak with patients admitted between 1 Feb. 2020 – 14 Feb. 2020 so far.

Lets assuming ten (10) day incubation period, what was the weather during that period of time? The Hong Kong Observatory records daily weather data, and the following minimum and maximum air temperatures were in recorded at Kwun Tong, the nearest weather station to the outbreak:

  • 22 Jan 2020 between 16.9 C and 24.4 deg C
  • 23 Jan 2020 between 19.8 C and 25.5 deg C
  • 24 Jan 2020 between 18.4 C and 22.6 deg C
  • 25 Jan 2020 between 17.9 C and 21.9 deg C
  • 26 Jan 2020 between 12.2 C and 20.1 deg C
  • 27 Jan 2020 between 9.8 C and 16.9 deg C
  • 28 Jan 2020 between 9.9 C and 16.4 deg C
  • 29 Jan 2020 between 10.1 C and 17.9 deg C
  • 30 Jan 2020 between 10.3 C and 17.6 deg C
  • 31 Jan 2020 between 11.7 C and 17.8 deg C
  • 1 Feb 2020 between 13.4 and 17.7 deg C
  • 2 Feb 2020 between 15.0 and 17.7 deg C

The HKO data shows the typical range of wintertime temperatures experienced during the cold weather season in Hong Kong.

In conclusion, the evidence demonstrates that during cold weather Legionnaires Disease outbreaks do occur, contrary to literature this disease is NOT limited to warmer climate conditions, and during the winter Legionnaires Disease cases, clusters, and outbreaks may occur.

HKO cold weather warning symbol

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