Legionella is a waterborne disease, best known for the adverse effects caused when an individual becomes infected with this harmful bacteria.
If a person is to consume contaminated water droplets, this Legionella bacteria can have detrimental effects on an individuals health. In particular, causing serious health issues such as lung infection.
Below are 10 facts that you may not have known about Legionella.
1. Legionella bacteria is most commonly located in lakes, rivers and also ponds, however because they're found in these areas in such small quantities, they are considered harmless.
2. Legionella will thrive in particular temperatures, the best temperatures for Legionella to thrive in are temperatures between 20-45 centigrade. Elements such as limescale, rust will often exacerbate the speed of their reproduction.
3. The disease now known as Legionnaires disease, is known as such, because of an event in Philadelphia 1976, in which there was an outbreak of pneumonia at an American Legion, with multiple people suffering from lung infections.
4. Symptoms for Legionnaires disease will often take around 7 days to be noticeable, these symptoms include: fevers, shortness of breath, headaches, wheezing, as well as muscle pain.
5. Legionella bacteria will see its growth rate heighten in facilities such as spas, steam rooms, and saunas. A big problem for hotels, leisure centres and other commercial premises that have these various water systems in abundance.
6. 90% of infected patients will successfully recover from illness. These type of infections will most commonly be treated with a course of antibiotics for 1 week to a month. Treatment can be administered either by tablets, or even in the form of a drip.
7. Anyone can be susceptible to the illness, however, as touched upon in previous article "What is Legionella?", it is most likely to be the older portion of the population that is extremely susceptible to infection. This along with heavy smokers and those with already weakened immune systems.
8. Although not widely thought to be contagious, except in very rare circumstances. There should still be measures made by site managers to implement procedure that ensures all water and HVAC systems are maintained to a safe level, eliminating the chance for bacteria growth, and meeting current UK compliance regulations.
9. As it is a notifiable disease, this means any case of someone being diagnosed with Legionnaires disease must be made official to the local health authorities. This so the source of the infection can found in order to help prevent any further, more large scale outbreak of the disease.
10. Legionella is a pathogenic group of bacteria that cause what is known as Legionellosis in humans, a group of illnesses including Legionnaires disease, as well as Pontiac fever.
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