More cases of legionnaires' disease are likely as a result of climate change, researchers predict.

A study by the Health Protection Agency found that higher temperatures and increases in humidity are associated with an increase in cases of legionnaires' disease and that the increase was especially pronounced during the summer of 2006.

Kate Ricketts, a scientist specialising in legionnaires' disease at the HPA's centre for infections, said: “The study suggests that the number of cases may be associated with the weather. It remains to be seen what impact the weather will have in the future. There may be important implications for public health authorities if climate change leads to warmer temperatures."

Visit www.hpa.org.uk for further information.