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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What Can Be Done to Help Prevent Legionnaires Disease Outbreaks?

The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services has released useful information on Legionnaires Disease. I hope you take time to review the information and share it.  Legionnaires’ Disease has touched my family as my oldest sister Zelda was taken from us a few years ago after contracting Legionnaires Disease.
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June 7, 2016
Each year, about 5,000 people are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease and at least 20 outbreaks are reported. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with Legionella. According to the latest CDCVital Signs report, more effective water management might have prevented most of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks that CDC investigated from 2000 through 2014. CDC advises building owners and managers to adopt newly published standards that promote Legionella water management programs. 
Water management problems can lead to Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. A legionella water management program consists of: establishing a water management program team, describing the building water systems using words and diagrams, identifying areas where legionella could grow and spread, deciding where control measures should be applied and how to monitor them, establishing ways to intervene when control limits are not met, making sure the program is running as designed and is effective, documenting and communicating all the activities. Legionnaires’ disease is on the rise (graph). CDC Vital Signs.
In 1976, CDC investigated the first outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria grows best in warm water that is not moving or that does not have enough disinfectant to kill germs, such as in hot tubs, decorative fountains, and showers. Most likely places for getting the disease are hotels, long-term care facilities, and hospitals. Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks can also occur on cruise ships. Symptoms of the disease include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches, and headaches.

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