The bacteriological investigation of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Glasgow Royal Infirmary affecting 16 patients is described. Most of the patients had been treated in high-dependency areas on two floors of the hospital supplied by the same two air-conditioned ventilation systems. The source of infection was traced to contamination of a cooling tower from which a plume of spray discharged into the intake vents of the two ventilation systems. Rubber grommets within the cooling tower probably provided a nidus of infection there. The control and management of the outbreak are discussed: a policy of frankness about the course and progress of the investigations was adopted and helped to allay anxiety on the part of both staff and media.