November 8, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Staff at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston (JBSA) in San Antonio, Texas, discovered Legionella bacteria during routine water testing. More than 80 residents and staff at Liberty Barracks are being relocated to other barracks and dorms across the base. There are no reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease so far. The relocated service members are from the Brooke Army Medical Center’s Soldier Recovery Unit. This unit includes the Behavioral Health Clinic. The building will be treated and retested after 72 hours. JBSA’s early discovery of the bacteria, before any reported cases, highlights the importance of routine testing for Legionella bacteria. To read more about…

October 30, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Several ferries operated by Washington State Ferries (WSF) have tested positive for high levels of Legionella bacteria. WSF discovered the bacteria after conducting water tests in the galleys and water fountains. Due to shutdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, water aboard the ships remained stagnant for over a year. Water stagnation may lead to bacteria growth, including Legionella. WSF’s discovery highlights the importance of businesses being proactive in their efforts to protect the public from Legionnaires’ disease. WSF, as well as other business, can flush out the affected water systems and treat them with disinfectants that will kill the Legionella bacteria and protect passengers…

October 8, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

A 79-year-old grandfather died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease in September 2021. He was exposed to legionella bacteria while opening a bag of potting soil to help his wife repot tomato plants. He began experiencing symptoms a week later and was admitted to the hospital, where his condition rapidly deteriorated. He was placed into a medically induced coma and passed away shortly thereafter. The ingredients and dampness of potting soil increase the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria. To read more about the link between gardening and Legionnaires’ disease, as well as tips on how to protect yourself, see our previous…

October 12, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Four days ago, a third resident of UAW Senior Citizens Center in Pekin recently contracted Legionnaires’ Disease. Just within the last two months, a man in his 70s died from the disease and a woman recovered but was hospitalized. Tazewell County Health Department’s communications manager said that the Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the building management to mitigate the water issues. There have been 8 cases of diagnosed Legionnaires’ Disease in Tazewell, though the TCHD’s communications managers says the other five cases are unrelated to the UAW outbreak. On September 10, the TCHD issued a public health…

September 30, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Hamilton Township officials announced Friday September 25, 2020 that a potential cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases has been discovered. Four township residents are confirmed to have contracted the disease, two of whom died. Sources at the New Jersey Department of Health say the residents began exhibiting symptoms between August 18 and August 24. Although relatively uncommon in New Jersey, officials have been quick to issue township-wide warnings. “If you’re not feeling well and have respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headache I encourage you to speak with your medical provider,” said one…

August 31, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

For months, many businesses, buildings, and facilities have remained closed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The temporary shutdowns have likely resulted in a reduction of normal water use in the buildings, which can create dangerous conditions for returning occupants, as States are reopening their local economies. One microbial hazard businesses should consider when planning their reopening is Legionella. Legionella bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia. It is found naturally in freshwater environments, but can grow and multiply in common, human-made water systems like hot tubs, spas, showerheads, decorative fountains and water features, large plumbing systems, and cooling towers…

November 13, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

As previously reported in a blog posted October 12, 2018, the US approach to controlling legionella is different from the United Kingdom. The UK approach is national in nature and very strict. Two recent examples include a leisure center in Walton-on-the-Naze being criminally prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive ( UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare) for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease two years ago. Another case involved a care home being fined 600,000 pounds (approximately $777,000.00) after pleading guilty to the death of a 90 year old who died…

November 6, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Connecting the dots is part of what this blog is all about. You may remember that significant regulations were passed in New York City in 2015 because of the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (see my blog of October 25, 2018). Unfortunately, these regulations are not being properly enforced by the city health department. As a result, 90% of the cooling tower cases heard by an administrative agency charged with enforcing the regulations have been dismissed. This is despite the fact that there has been 65% increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases from 2016 to 2017. Even Mayor De Blasio has criticized…

November 5, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Every case involving Legionnaires’ disease that this office has been involved in has always had the defense attorney arguing that the bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease is ubiquitous (found everywhere). By this the defense attorneys mean that because the bacteria legionella can be found naturally in nature, their clients should not be liable to pay money damages to my clients. What the defense attorneys don’t tell you is that although legionella bacteria may be found in water everywhere, it only causes disease such as Legionnaire’s disease when the property owner does not properly maintain the water system. Failure to properly maintain…

October 22, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Many people are not aware that showers are a major source of the legionella bacteria being transmitted to a human. This transmission occurs because of a buildup of the legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease, in the showerhead. Once the bacteria is in the showerhead, water containing the bacteria passes through the showerhead holes, thereby aeroslozing  the water and allowing for the inhalation of the bacteria into the lungs of the person getting Legionnaires’ disease. One way to prevent the buildup of the bacteria in the showerhead is to replace the showerheads periodically. Another method is to take off the…