Legionella. What is it? How can we prevent it?
Legionella is a bacteria that is cultured in stagnant waters and can become a serious health concern to those when it becomes airborne. The bacteria legionella can turn into a disease that is comparable to pneumonia, called Legionnaries’ Disease, and Pontiac Fever. Legionella, though not contagious, can be contracted through airborne spores and through drinking water.
Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, are very susceptible to this bacteria due to the large complex water systems that they house. However, other water systems such as faucets, shower heads, water fountains, cooling towers, and HVAC units can foster this bacteria as well. These water systems can promote legionella growth if not properly maintained with adequate levels of biocides, cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, and by flushing unused taps consistently.
Just this past year, organizations like Kentucky Society of Healthcare Engineers held presentations on Legionella and its related diseases. Not only do we see the local organizations focused on this disease, but legionella has also caught the eye of more national organizations. In the past year, the CDC issued a vital signs report that stated 72 healthcare facilities in 16 of the 21 juisdictions they studied reported definite healthcare related cases of Legionnaires' disease. We have also seen the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) send out memorandums stating the growing problem and offering solutions on how to prevent Legionnaires' disease.
Realizing all the potential harm that can be done and how prevalent this issue has become, DLOM has worked to provide services that help prevent Legionnaires' disease. We offer a wide variety of services from HVAC and Duct Cleaning to Hot Water and Steam Coil Cleaning. With all of our services we can disinfect many of the areas that Legionella can live, such as cooling towers, water fountains, shower heads, and much more. If you are concerned your facility is susceptible to this bacteria or you want to take the step to avoid it, contact DLOM today to get our specialties on it.