Health workers in Melbourne are being told to be on alert of flu-like symptoms after an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease in Melbourne’s inner-north, just as the coronavirus pandemic increases.

Four men, aged between 35 and 80, have been taken to hospital with the disease after spending time in the Brunswick area, including Sydney Road.

The patients developed the symptoms in February and March and are now recovering at home.

The Department of Health and Human Services is investigating the source of the infections.

“Consider alternative diagnoses to COVID-19 for respiratory infections and undertake appropriate investigations,” Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Angie Bone said in a health alert.

“While those involved in this outbreak have spent significant time in the Brunswick area, it is important that clinicians continue to consider testing for Legionella pneumophila in any patient with a compatible illness.”