An investigation has been launched after three confirmed cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Croydon.

All three patients are currently being treated at Croydon University Hospital and the cases are being jointly investigated by Public Health England (PHE), Croydon Council and Croydon Health Services.

Laboratory tests have already established that two of the cases have different strains from each other, suggesting there is no link between them.

Dr Barry Walsh, local director of health protection for PHE London, said: "As is usual for all reported cases of Legionnaire’s disease we are taking detailed histories of the movements of the patients to see if there are similar patterns which would indicate a local source of infection.

"There is currently no direct link between any of these cases, and we already know from the laboratory testing that two of these cases are definitely unrelated."

Legionnaire's disease is a serious lung infection that is caused by bacteria, that can lead to pneumonia. Initial symptoms include a "flu-like" illness with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever.

A review of all recent sporadic cases of Legionnaires' in the local area has been undertaken to see if they have links with these three cases, as part of the investigation.

Other action taken includes identifying, taking samples and advising on the disinfection of potential sources of the disease, such as cooling towers; and alerting healthcare staff in the borough to look out for patients who may be developing symptoms of the disease.

Dr Mike Robinson, director of public health for Croydon Council said: "Legionnaires' disease is a rare but potentially life threatening illness.

"It is caused by a bacteria commonly associated with water systems but cannot be passed from person-to-person.

"As a precaution our environmental health officers are working with Public Health England to identify and control any possible sources of the disease in Croydon."

People are advised if they are feeling unwell with any of the possible signs of Legionnaires' disease to contact their doctor or call NHS 111.