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A literature review was conducted to highlight the application and potential benefit of using geographic information systems (GIS) during Legionnaires’ disease outbreak investigations. Relatively few published sources were identified, however, certain types of data were found to be important in facilitating the use of GIS, namely: patient data, locations of potential sources (e.g. cooling towers), demographic data relating to the local population and meteorological data. These data were then analysed to gain a better understanding of the spatial relationships between cases and their environment, the cases’ proximity to potential outbreak sources, and the modelled dispersion of contaminated aerosols. The use of GIS in an outbreak is not a replacement for traditional outbreak investigation techniques, but it can be a valuable supplement to a response.


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