legionella bacteria

It is with sad news that the Environmental Affairs Minister Bomo Edna Edith Molewa from South Africa succumbed to Legionnaires disease on 22 September 2018.

This shows that Legionnaires is real and is a dangerous disease.

What are Legionella bacteria?

Legionella (legionnaires disease causing bacteria) are a species of bacteria that grow and live in water. These bacteria live in low numbers in natural water sources. But when they get into man-made water systems they can grow very quickly in high numbers.

Man-made systems often create an ideal environment for Legionella species to grow. Especially due to 3 factors:

  1. Water temperature
  2. Dirty water systems
  3. Stagnant water in pipes and storage tanks.

What is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires disease is an infection of the lungs that is a form of pneumonia. A person can develop Legionnaires disease by inhaling water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Legionella was discovered after an outbreak in 1976 among people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion. Those who were affected suffered from a type of pneumonia (lung infection) that later, the bacterium causing the illness was named Legionella pneumophilaThe disease then became known as Legionnaires disease.

Further advice about specific controls should be sought from experts in this field. They can carry out a full risk assessment of the accommodation. Your local public health authorities can advise you further. Contact us for a quotation on a Legionella Risk Evaluation or water testing

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Hygiene Survey Manager