- Posted June 9, 2014 by
What You Need To Know About The Legionnaires’ Disease
The Legionnaires’ disease or LD was first classified and given its formal name in 1976 due to a pulmonary infection outbreak which happened at the American Legion in Philadelphia convention. Out of the total of 182 people who were infected, 29 died.
The Leading Cause Of Legionnaires’ Disease
Legionnaires’ disease is usually caused by L. pneumophila. This particular type of bacteria is found and lives in natural water supplies, in constructed artificial and recirculating and water supply systems. L. pneumophila spreads and grows in number swiftly in water systems or supplies that have mild temperatures (around 35°C), are stagnant and have some rubble which the bacteria will use for breeding. Cooling towers, spas, showers and artificial water features are just some of the popular breeding spots of this type of bacteria. And of course, they can also be found in many residential and commercial water systems and even heating and cooling systems.
LD is caused when water droplets containing adequate numbers of the L. pneumophila bacterium enter the air as minute particles or in aerosol form which can be inhaled easily and deeply by people. Once these bacteria go deep inside one’s lungs, the lung epithelial cells and macrophages are attacked and they further replicate via intracellular reproduction.
Some Facts About The Legionnaires’ Disease
• In the United Kingdom, there were 369 reported cases of LD last 2010
• Most LD cases and outbreaks are isolated.
• The elderly, people who smoke, and those with low immunity are more likely to be infected and even die.
• The death rate from diagnosed infections is 10-15% (10% in formerly diagnosed healthy individuals and up to 80% in the elderly).
• About 40-50% of all LD cases are related to travel abroad, where air conditioning and water systems might be less well regulated and maintained.
Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease And The Spread Of L. Pneumophila
To make sure that you will not find the L. pneumophila bacteria in the water systems and supplies in your home or property, you can have the water tested with the use of a legionella test kit. You only need to order a complete testing kit, collect some water and have the samples picked up. These samples will then be tested completely by licensed laboratory experts.
Other ways to make sure that your home or property is legionella-free is to regularly check and properly clean your plumbing system, bath fixtures such as the shower or tub, and other artificial water systems. Use chlorine-based cleaning products to clean all these fixtures and systems. You also need to maintain the correct temperature of the water you use or can be found in your property. You can also regularly treat this water with the right chemicals to eliminate the presence of legionella in your home.