What Is Legionella?
Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s’ disease which is a serious form of pneumonia. The bacteria are commonly found in natural water sources such as streams, lakes, and rivers. You may also find these bacteria in hot tubs or plumbing systems. If you inhale tiny droplets of water that has been contaminated by this bacterium, then it can lead to infections. Legionella prevention is very important especially for those with a weak immune system or someone with underlying health conditions, it can be very dangerous. Legionella tends to live and grow in water in water systems when its temperature is between around 20-45 degrees Celsius.
How Can We Prevent Legionella?
There are multiple ways in which we can try to prevent Legionella such as:
- Make sure that all water sources are cleaned and properly treated.
- Cleaning and sanitising water systems, including plumbing, hot tubs, and cooling towers, on a regular basis.
- Consistently test the water for legionella.
- Regularly check water systems for the presence of the Legionella bacteria and acting right away if any are found.
- You can inform people of the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease so that if symptoms arise, they can seek medical attention.
If you try your best to follow some of these tips above, then we can drastically lower the chance of Legionnaires’ disease and the Legionella bacteria. Lowering the chance of Legionnaires’ disease shows just how important Legionella prevention is.
What Are The Causes Of Legionella?
There are many different reasons for the cause of Legionella. If your water has been sitting somewhere for a long period of time (stagnant water) with no movement. Another cause of legionella is trough inhaling small water droplets which have been contaminated. Legionella can also be caused if you were to be working on a construction site or somewhere similar as Legionella can survive in soil. In more rare cases, it is possible to get legionella through contaminated medical equipment in hospitals if not cleaned properly.
Sectors And People Most Likely To Be Affected.
Anyone who has been exposed to contaminated drops of water can possibly be affected by Legionella, however, certain types of people are much more prone to catching this bacterium than others such as:
- People who smoke: Smokers already have weaker lungs due to how much they smoke making them quite vulnerable to this bacterium.
- The Elderly: Older people have very weak immune systems meaning they are much more prone to receiving this infection.
- Certain types of workers: Those who work in the construction industry or those who work in industries such as plumbing are at a much higher risk of getting Legionella.
- Patients in Hospital: As previously stated in,” the causes of Legionella”, we know that certain medial equipment if not washed properly can become contaminated.
The Consequences Of Legionella Infection.
There are a few consequences of legionella infection such as minor flu-like symptoms to sever pneumonia. In a very serious case, Legionella infection can lead to kidney failure. There can be some health effects long term such as chronic lung disease. Legionella prevention is very necessary as in some cases, depending on who receives the infection, it can be very fatal. Within the first week of getting Legionella infection, if you do not treat it, then it will worsen. Some common consequences of Legionella infection are headaches, loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy. If you think that you have been exposed to Legionella infection, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
How To Get Rid Of Legionella After An Outbreak
Legionella prevention is extremely important especially right after an outbreak of, it is important to get rid of it as quickly as possible. You must locate the area where the legionella is, you may have to test water systems or any possible area where you think the bacteria may be present. Once you have found the outbreak, you must clean and disinfect the water system using certain types of chemicals. It would also be a good idea to increase the temperature od your water and maintain proper pH levels. By doing this, it will keep legionella levels are low or non-existent.
Check out Guidelines To Control Legionella