May 8, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

On Wednesday, May 5th Democratic Policy Committee held a virtual policy hearing on Legionella prevention in Pennsylvania and the concerns as buildings begin to reopen. Stagnant water, like that in buildings that have been closed for extended periods, provides an ideal environment for Legionella to grow. They are particularly vulnerable to bacterial growth, including Legionella, when the systems aren’t cared for properly. Despite these serious risks, there is currently no regulations in the state of Pennsylvania regarding legionnaires disease and water management. “Legionnaire’s disease is a largely preventable disease,” said Dr. Richard Miller, Co-Founder/President/Chief Scientific Officer at Environmental Safety Technologies, Inc. during the policy hearing…

April 26, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Two individuals have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after using the hot tub and pool at a Comfort Inn & Suites in Macon, Missouri. The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services tested the water at the hotel and found the presence of the Legionella bacteria in the hot tub. Legionnaires’ disease is contracted when individuals breathe in particles contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. Sources of exposure at hotels are commonly the pool and hot tub area, as well as showers and faucets. The first symptoms to appear are usually flu-like (fever, tiredness, muscle aches, and headache). Signs of a serious Legionella lung infection include cough and…

April 12, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The Indianapolis Healthplex has been closed following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. The local gym has been closed since Sunday after several members were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. [1] Legionnaires’ disease is contracted when individuals breathe in particles contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. Sources of exposure at gym or health center are many, as legionella bacteria can grow and become aerosolized through a number of different sources where water is being heated. Potable water systems, including faucets, showers, and saunas, can be sources where Legionella bacteria can grow. The first symptoms to appear are usually flu-like (fever, tiredness, muscle aches,…

March 22, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Today is one of the first full days of spring, which means the beginning of gardening season for many homeowners and gardening enthusiasts. However, what most gardeners do not know is that they could be exposing themselves to Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease, lives in most organic material. This means that it can live in bags of potting soil, as well as the soil in the ground. In a previous case our office worked on, a bag of potting soil tested positive for Legionella bacteria. Our client used the contaminated potting soil and became very…

March 19, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

This post highlights three past client’s cases to demonstrate the common scenarios where Legionnaires disease can be contracted. This post examines the potential sources of exposure that exist in a day spa and waterpark settings. For more information on the possible dangers of hot tubs, check out our blog post about it. In February 2017, our clients contracted Legionnaires disease following a visit to a local Sauna and Spa. Within days of each of their visits, they began suffering from symptoms that eventually led to their Legionnaires disease diagnosis.  The spa offered a variety of amenities including hot tubs, spas, saunas,…

March 15, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

There is currently an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Union County, New Jersey. The source of infection has not yet been identified. However, based on past cases that we have worked on we believe it is possible that the source of this outbreak could be cooling towers. In July and August 2015, there was an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in the Bronx that claimed 12 lives and infected at least 128 people. The outbreak caused widespread concern and weeks of uncertainty among residents.  Thanks to the hard work of epidemiologists and investigators, the source of the outbreak was identified: a…

March 15, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Growing hot tub sales could prove to be problematic. Most often, hot tub manufacturers and installers do not warn those buying hot tubs of the possibility that their hot tub could infect them with Legionnaires disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to most of the country spending more time at home than ever before. Subsequently, this has led to a huge increase in the sale of hot tubs for residential use.  Hot tubs can be beneficial. They are proven to reduce muscle pain and stress levels. However, the growing number of hot tub owners could prove to be dangerous. Hot…

March 6, 2021 zacherlaw 1 Comments

There is an ongoing outbreak of Legionnaires disease unfolding in Union County, New Jersey. Fourteen individuals have been confirmed to have Legionnaires disease and one person has died as a result of the disease. These cases were all reported between February 3rd through February 26th.  The New Jersey Department of Health alongside local health officials are currently investigating this outbreak. They have identified some potential sources of the Legionella bacteria and have begun the process of removing it. They have warned any resident or visitor of Union County that is experiencing symptoms consistent with Legionnaires disease to seek medical attention. [1] If you have…

February 17, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Seventeen cases of Legionnaires disease have been identified in January in a recent outbreak in Sydney and the Illawarra region of Australia. The Health Director in New South Wales issued a statement where he expressed that while there tends to be a slight uptick in cases around the end of summer, a spike of this size is cause for concern. [1]  This outbreak has prompted health officials to issue a warning that air conditioning towers, referred to as cooling towers in the United States, need to be properly maintained. Regulations were introduced in these regions in 2012 that require business…

February 1, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

This post continues the discussion of the National Academies of Sciences management of Legionella in water systems report. Chapter two begins to delve into the diagnosis, ecology, and exposure pathways of Legionella. In our everyday life, humans live peacefully alongside a number of microbes, organisms so small they are invisible to the human eye. Most of these microbes are harmless and may are beneficial. However, there are groups of microbes that cause disease  In general, the impact of exposure to a particular microbe depends on three factors. Firstly, the quantity of microorganisms. Secondly, their capacity to cause harm. Lastly, the strength of an individual…