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Poland investigates outbreak near Ukrainian border — RT World News

Legionnaire’s disease kills seven in city critical to Kyiv’s arms supply

The Polish Internal Security Agency (ABW) is investigating whether the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Rzeszow could be an act of “sabotage,” a spokesperson said Friday.

“We also see that Russia is trying to sow panic on this occasion and watching what happens. It is also a factor that makes us exclude certain scenarios. » Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for Warsaw’s security services, told Polish media.

There have been 113 recorded cases in the region, from the town of Rzeszow itself to the town of Przemysl on the border with Ukraine. Seven of the patients died. Authorities say they were between 64 and 95 years old and suffered from co-morbidities such as cancer.

Ewa Leniart, head of the regional government, told the RMF channel that the contagion most likely came from the water supply system. Samples have been sent to laboratories and the first test results are expected on Monday, she said, adding that the situation is under control.

Located in southeastern Poland, about 100 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, Rzeszow has become the hub of US and NATO efforts to supply Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and equipment. after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. staging area for Western leaders traveling to Ukraine by train, including US President Joe Biden. A number of American troops are stationed near the town.

Rzeszow’s importance in the Western war effort seems to have made Warsaw even more suspicious of the outbreak. Polish authorities are tracking the suspects “Russian Spies” – including professional hockey players and Ukrainian nationals – for months.

Warsaw has also reinforced its military presence on the border with Belarus, citing the threat of “hybrid warfare” by members of the private military company Wagner Group, transferred to the territory of the Russian ally after their failed mutiny in June.

Legionnaires’ disease, also known as legionellosis, is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria that are usually found in water. The infection causes a mortality rate of up to 10%, usually in people with pre-existing lung conditions.

The United States records around 13,000 cases per year, while the EU recorded nearly 11,000 in 2021, including 704 fatalities.

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