What is legionella & how you can successfully prevent an outbreak?

Legionella pneumophila is a bacterium that can cause infection leading to a potentially fatal form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease in humans. Latest figures show 200-250 reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year in the UK.

Legionella bacteria is naturally occurring and is commonly found in water. The bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C. Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing viable Legionella bacteria. Such droplets can be created and lead to disease transmission through aerosol, for example, by hot and cold-water taps, wet air conditioning units and showers etc.

Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease, but the elderly, smokers, alcoholics and those with compromised immune systems, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease are at more risk.

Consequently, Legionella pneumophila presents an escalated risk in particular environments:

  • Hospitals
  • Other medical and dental facilities
  • Care and nursing homes
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Hotels
  • Leisure Centres
  • Manufacturing Sites where large quanities of water are stored
  • Food processing plants
  • Judicial facilities

The key to preventing an outbreak of legionella is by reducing growth and spread of the bacterium. Building owners and managers can achieve this by implementing a scheme of monitoring and control measures aligned to best practice.

Legionella Management Solutions’ wide range of legionella assessment, testing, compliance & remedial services include Legionella Risk Assessment, Thermostatic Mixer Valve (TMV) servicing, Tank Cleaning and Disinfection and UKAS Compliant Water Sampling & Testing. We can deliver a bespoke service including a full Legionella Compliance & Water Hygiene service across the UK.

Contact LMS to find out more about more about about what is Legionella & how you can successfully prevent an outbreak.