Is Your House a Home to Legionella?
Legionella does not pick hotels and hospitals as a place to live and infect people. You will be surprised to learn that someone you know and treasure may be fighting bout after bout of pneumonia caused by this bacteria hiding in their shower head or hot water tank. There are some simple changes you can make to reduce the risk and tests to tell if someone you care about is an unsuspecting victim of Legionnaire's Disease
Click Here for Download of Article Click Here for Download of Article
Why we Think of Legionnaires Disease as Only Belonging in Hotels and Hospitals When multiple individuals with a single exposure source contract pneumonia there is enough data to infer that there is a cause. The CDC refers to such concentrated events as a Cluster Disease. To have this happen, you need a significant number of at risk people (health and immune deficient) that contract the disease and have a close enough affiliation that health professionals can notice that they have this illness in common. , There were victims of Legionnaire's Disease before the first known outbreak that happened in 1976 at the Philadelphia Legionnaire convention. It is just that nobody noticed. THAT IS THE CASE FOR MANY PEOPLE TODAY. One or two at risk persons in a home, visiting a grocery store, or the fountain at a park can contract the disease and it will go unnoticed.
Reasons Why Most Cases of Legionnaire's Disease are not Diagnosed.
The persons most likely to contract Legionnaire's Disease are the same people at risk for other forms of pneumonia.
Treatment for the pneumonia is not affected by the cause. Testing for the Legionella bacterium in the patient is an additional cost which does not change the outcome for the patient.
Even if Legionnaire's Disease is proven, there are multiple sources that could be the cause, making identification of the source impossible for the medical practitioner. Without the source of the exposure, correcting the cause is impossible
Any water source that becomes aerosolized is a potential source for the transmission of Legionella That means any water that can result in a mist such as from a faucet or shower head, hot tub or many other examples.
Likely places to find Legionella Contamination
Hot water tank
Air conditioners ( Central Air, window and automobile)
Decorative fountains such as at a back yard pond or public park
Sprays such as used over grocery store produce.
Persons most likely to contract pneumonia from Legionnaire's Disease
Those with other factors affecting immunity
Those with respiratory disease ( such as Asthma )
Testing Methods Available to Use
Real Time Screening using ATP ( DNA ) Swab testing of shower heads
Swab testing forwarded to a lab
1000 ML water sample to be sent to a lab.
Source for certified testing professionals
Center for Disease Control Information on Legionella http://www.cdc.gov/legionella/patient_facts.htm
CDC Testing Procedures
EMSL Legionella Testing Guide