Category Archives: Legionella

USA – Legionnaires’ disease: Lower Washington Heights cluster rises to 14

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In a follow-up on the Legionnaires’ disease cluster reported in Lower Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, New York City health officials report the case count has risen to 14.

The Health Department is actively investigating these cases and is sampling and testing water from all active cooling tower systems in the area of the cluster.

This is the second Legionnaires’ disease cluster reported in Lower Washington Heights this year.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the bacteria Legionella, which grows in warm water. Symptoms resemble other types of pneumonia and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, and cough. Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth, such as cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.

Individuals may be infected by breathing in water vapor containing Legionella, and the disease is not transmitted from person to person. Individuals at higher risk include those ages 50 and above, cigarette smokers, and people with chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems. People living or working in the area who are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention with a primary care provider or seek urgent care.

Information -Do Ice Machines Spread Legionnaires Disease?

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Ice machines and chilled water dispensers are becoming increasingly popular both at home and in the workplace where they are used for a variety of purposes. At first glance, the freezing water temperatures used to create ice would suggest that opportunities for bacterial growth would be very limited and so the risks to people using them insignificant. However, this may not always be the case and here we consider if ice machines can spread Legionnaires’ disease.

Ice machines and chilled water dispensers offering ice or cold water do so at temperatures well below the 20-degree threshold for concern. However, each machine contains a mechanical compressor that is used to lower water temperatures. The heat given off by a compressor may be enough to warm the water inside the machine, thereby allowing Legionella bacteria to grow and multiply unseen. The bacteria could then potentially reach levels in the water where it may prove concerning for those drinking it or taking ice from the machine.

A similar scenario could occur if the machine is positioned in a warm spot, i.e. near to a radiator or other source of heat.

USA – New Hampshire reports 15th Legionnaires’ disease case in Hampton

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In a follow-up on the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Hampton, New Hampshire, The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is reporting one additional case since Aug. 31, bringing the total to 15  associated with Ashworth Avenue between Island Path and M Street in Hampton.

Thirteen people required hospitalization and one death has been reported.

USA – Legionella bacteria detected in Sands Resort water system, Order issued

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New Hampshire health officials issued an order to the Sands Resort in Hampton this weekend after initial tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected the presence of the Legionella bacteria from multiple sources within the water system, including, but not limited to the hot tub spa.

Netherlands – Large increase in legionellosis in the Netherlands

RIVM

The Municipal Public Health Services (GGD) received 561 reports of legionellosis over the past year. Never before has RIVM registered as many reports of this disease as in the past year.

Canada – Legionnaires’ disease cluster investigated in Surrey

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Officials with Fraser Health report investigating a cluster of cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the Guildford area of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Public Health is advising anyone who has developed pneumonia-like symptoms with a high-risk condition (e.g., chronic lung conditions, smokers, elderly, immunocompromised) to seek medical attention. If they have been in the Guildford area of Surrey in the past 10 days (i.e., since August 21st), they should also mention this to their doctor for testing, advice, and treatment.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a bacterium called Legionella. Legionella is commonly found in the environment, particularly in freshwater, groundwater, and soil. The bacterium can grow and spread in human-made building water systems like cooling towers, hot tubs that aren’t drained after each use, decorative fountains, and large plumbing systems.

Information -Are Garden Water Butts Contaminated with Legionella Bacteria?

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Recent investigations suggest 95% of UK garden water butts may be contaminated with Legionella bacteria, the bug responsible for the potentially deadly Legionnaires’ disease.

Scientists working on behalf of Public Health England at the Porton Down facility have discovered most of the water butts in British gardens are likely contaminated with the potentially deadly Legionella bacteria. As part of a recent survey, they obtained samples from 113 water butts to determine whether the bacteria were present. Just six water butts were discovered to be free from the potentially deadly bacteria.