Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak in Stoke-on-Trent
Prof Harsh Duggal, director of the Health Protection Unit in Stafford, said:
"While we do not currently have a direct link between the cases, the evidence
points to the fact that there is a common source.
"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.
"Legionnaires' disease is a rare but potentially life-threatening illness. It is caused by a bacteria commonly associated with water systems and cannot be passed from person to person."
The HPA added it was also investigating two cases identified in early summer as being possibly linked to the current cluster.
The agency is working with the Health and Safety Executive, the NHS in Stoke and the city council to try to identify and control any possible sources of the disease.