WHO declares Lisbon legionnaire's a health emergency

An outbreak of Legionnaire's disease in Lisbon has killed five people in less than a week, prompting the WHO to label it a "major public health emergency".

The UN health agency says Portugal had notified it of a "large outbreak" of Legionnaire's disease in the Vila Franca de Xira suburb of Lisbon.

The Portuguese government says the outbreak was most likely caused by bacteria in the refrigeration system of a fertiliser factory.

The first 17 cases were identified last Thursday, and since then 233 cases have been reported, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva,