Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It can pose health risks when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems such as; municipal water systems, swimming pools, hot water tanks and heaters, and cooling towers. Inhaling small droplets of water and aspiration of drinking water containing Legionella can cause a number of serious respiratory illnesses, some of which can be fatal.
- Legionnaire’s Disease – a form of severe pneumonia that can last several weeks, have long-term health effects, and can be fatal
- Pontiac fever – a respiratory infection with flu-like symptoms
People who have chronic lung conditions, are immunocompromised, or are over 50 years old are at greater risk for developing Legionella-related illnesses. The spread of Legionella can be prevented by regular maintenance and sampling of water systems. Water sampling should be conducted in residential buildings (including nursing homes, apartment buildings, and hotels), as well as in airports, cruise ships, and vacation homes.
Protect yourself and others from Legionella-related illnesses by contacting Scott Environmental Health & Safety Services today to schedule your water sampling!