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Building source of legionnaires' disease

Public health authorities say they have identified the source of Quebec City's outbreak of legionnaires' disease: an office building in the provincial capital. They say samples taken from a cooling tower in a building on St.

Public health authorities say they have identified the source of Quebec City's outbreak of legionnaires' disease: an office building in the provincial capital.

They say samples taken from a cooling tower in a building on St. Joseph Street in Quebec City's lower-town area match the genetic fingerprint of the strain of Legionella bacteria found in patients who have been treated.

Public health officials told a news conference Wednesday that the tower has been cleaned and is safe again.

They say their conclusion is based on preliminary information released by the laboratory conducting the tests.

From the start, the source of the outbreak was suspected to have been an office cooling tower.

Since the outbreak began in July, 180 cases have been reported. Thirteen people have died.

The deadly bacteria grows in the stagnant water of cooling systems and spreads in little droplets through air conditioning.