Legionnaires’ disease in Europe, 2012

Surveillance report
26 Mar 2014
Publication series: Legionnaires’ disease in Europe
Time period covered: 1 January - 31 December 2012

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Legionnaires’ disease in Europe, 2012. Stockholm: ECDC; 2014.

​This surveillance report is based on Legionnaires’ disease surveillance data collected for 2012. Surveillance is carried out by the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) and coordinated by ECDC in Stockholm. Data were collected by nominated ELDSNet experts for each European country and electronically reported to The European Surveillance System (TESSy) database.

Executive summary

​In 2012, 5 852 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in the EU/EEA, well within the range observed in the past five years. Most cases were community-acquired (69%), while 20% were travel-associated and 8% were linked to healthcare facilities.

Legionnaires’ disease remains an important cause of both morbidity and mortality in Europe. Even though sporadic community-acquired cases represent the majority of notified cases, large outbreaks continue to occur, placing temporary pressure on local healthcare services.

France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom accounted for 84% of all notified cases. Fluctuations observed in the past years have been mainly driven by the number of community-acquired cases reported by these six countries.

Important regional variations have been documented in some countries such as France and Italy, which may be linked to environmental conditions and/or differences in the sensitivity of Legionnaires’ disease surveillance.