Legionnaire’s disease, although not too threatening to people of a healthy condition
Can have some rather devastating effects on those in poor health, with many unpleasant symptoms.
It is usually caused from the bacteria named legionella which can be found in many moisture environments, such as cooling towers, fresh water ponds, hot water systems and even the mist from various aerosols. However, the most destructive is places which can affect public water supply.
After the bacteria has developed into the Legionnaires disease in a human being, strains have been known to cause Pontiac Fever which can consequently lead to extremely unpleasant symptoms in unlucky patients such as nausea, fever, dry cough, effects on the nervous system, sickness, and chills.
The symptoms of legionnaire’s disease are first apparent anywhere between two to ten days of infection in which the infected can also show signs of anorexia, headache or myalgia which should immediately cause some concern and suspicion with medical staff.
Extreme cases of the disease have led to respiratory failure, shock, hypotension and many others resulting in patients being hospitalised and even death with a deceased average of 40 per year. Overall if not detected the results are not good; however they can be very simply and easily avoided.
Affecting between 8,000 to 18,000 individuals a year in the United States the process of detection and prevention is extremely important in each and every water system suspected of infection and consequently, hospitals and nursing homes containing communities who are most at risk, should be actively checked.
Of the entire detection and prevention process the most important step is the one in which
Legionella awareness training is put into practice. Lack of training and poor communication have recently been identified as one of the major causes in outbreaks of Legionnaires disease, so it extremely important to incorporate training into your particular work environment, as a way of keeping the disease at bay.
The risk assessment and water management allows the company to feel a sense of control over any potential health risks and can encourage system monitoring, however this can be done from an outside company and is highly recommended due to the experience and expertise which can be passed on for a more efficient and safe way of working.
With Legionella bacteria being able to fit into a single droplet of aerosolized water it is clear that there needs to be sufficient barriers to protect against the development into legionella disease and protect those at risk.