Managing and monitoring a water system to inhibit Legionella is a legal requirement, with any water system susceptible to outbreaks. So what should you know about Legionella prevention and what actions do you need to take?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia, but what exactly is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is the name given to an inflammation of the tissue in one or both lungs. Your lungs are made up of air sacs known as alveoli and when these are affected – in the case of Legionnaires’ by bacterial infection – they become inflamed and may fill with fluid or pus causing symptoms such as a cough, chills, fever and difficulty in breathing.
Every year a significant number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported, many resulting in long illnesses or even deaths.
It’s a potentially fatal disease that is not going away and could even be on the rise.
The disease is a type of pneumonia which can prove fatal to people who are likely to be more susceptible to its effects – the elderly, people with lung conditions, people with weakened immune systems and anyone who drinks or smokes heavily.
Legionnaires' disease is an extreme form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. It can be caught by inhaling water droplets containing the bacteria. Legionella bacteria grow when water temperatures are between 20-45°C, where nutrients, such as rust, sludge, scale, sediment and algae are available, and also where water is stagnant in the water system (eg, if a shower or tap is not regularly used).