June 29, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

A new website aimed at spreading information about Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease has recently been launched. PreventLegionnaires.org provides basic facts about disease transmission and prevention, and offers advice to managers and businesses on how to manage risk and implement plans to keep Legionella in check. The website also offers downloadable resources specific to healthcare facilities and industrial or commercial buildings. PreventLegionnaires.org is published in association with the CDC and a number of health organizations, and it is funded by several companies that produce cooling towers. Cooling towers have sometimes been to blame for the spread of Legionella.   For more…

June 28, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Michigan’s former chief medical executive had been briefed on potential Legionella contamination nearly a year before the information was made public, though he later denied having been involved in discussions about potential water contamination. Dr. Matthew Davis was the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services until his departure in April 2015. He was later appointed to the Flint Water Task Force by Governor Rick Snyder. At the time of his appointment, legislators voiced concerns that his prior involvement with Snyder’s administration would create a conflict of interest as the task force investigated the water contamination. Davis…

June 27, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

  Reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease are down in Flint, Michigan after the city changed the source of its water supply. The Flint River has become synonymous with lead contamination, but the city’s water supply was also home to dangerously high levels of Legionella bacteria. The spotlight on lead allowed the 2015-16 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, the largest outbreak in recent times, to go relatively unnoticed. Over 90 people were sickened in Flint, 12 of them fatally, over an 18-month period. Experts have linked the outbreak to the city’s tainted water system. The finger-pointing debacle that ensued between government agencies…

June 23, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Testing last week revealed that the water system of a hospital in Pittsburgh, PA has been contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Allegheny General Hospital conducted tests for Legionella in their water supply after a cancer patient tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease. The patient had been discharged on May 20 for respiratory problems but had been readmitted four days later after a relapse; a urine test revealed that the patient had been infected with Legionella bacteria. Though hospital officials believe that the patient had been exposed to the bacteria outside of the hospital, they tested the hospital’s water supply and discovered Legionella…

June 22, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Senior living facilities in Maryland and New York have reported the presence of Legionella bacteria, leading in some cases to Legionnaires’ Disease. A resident of The Commons, a senior living facility in Auburn, NY, tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease in early June. Officials conducted tests and found that the facility’s drinking water was contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. The facility has taken preventative measures to control the bacteria, following guidelines established by the New York Health Department. No new cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported. The Lutheran Village in Elliot City, MD has reported that two of their residents have…

June 21, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The NYC Department of Health has announced a comprehensive plan to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City. Following the 2015 outbreaks in the South Bronx , Mayor de Blasio passed some of the nation’s toughest regulations on cooling towers. The city is now investing more than $7 million to enforce these regulations. Local Law 77, which focuses on preventative maintenance of the city’s 5,544 cooling towers, took effect on May 9, 2016. This law requires that cooling towers be registered with the city and that all cooling towers have plans in place to reduce outbreaks of…

June 20, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

  New water risk management legislation has been passed in Queensland, Australia in the aftermath of a string of outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease at hospitals. A string of illnesses and deaths in hospitals has raised awareness of the risks of Legionnaires’ disease in Queensland. A 2013 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at The Wesley Hospital, a private hospital in Brisbane, led to the tragic death of one cancer patient and placed another in intensive care. The bacteria was found in the hospital’s hot water system. This outbreak prompted a string of tests and responses, and the hospital put intensified water-testing measures…

June 15, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Image via http://www.unclejohnshandymanservice.com      An article from the Wall Street Journal elaborates on some investigations into Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the past 15 years. The results showed that the vast majority of outbreaks were caused by negligence on the part of maintenance employees who did not maintain biocides effectively, repair or change equipment on schedule, or did not adequately maintain the plumbing. These look like easily fixable problems, but it’s more complicated than it seems. The guidelines for preventing Legionella are not standards, and there are virtually no laws requiring specific Legionella prevention. This means…

June 14, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The WorldMark Kapaa Shore Resort, a Wyndham Resorts hotel, was closed this week after two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed by the health department. The closure was done as a precaution and guests were moved to nearby hotels. Wyndham Resorts released a statement saying: “Recently, the Kapaa Shore Resort received confirmation that the presence of Legionella bacteria was found in two units at the resort,” the resort said, in an emailed statement. “As a precautionary measure, we are temporarily closing the resort and relocating owners and guests to nearby properties so that we can properly remediate and get the…

June 10, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The CDC recently released news tools for Legionnaires’ disease investigations.  The CDC online toolkit includes: Environmental Investigation Tools, Laboratory Investigation Tools, and a section to request CDC assistance.  Example questionnaires, fact sheets, protocols, and educational videos to assist with outbreak investigations are also provided as part of the toolkit. To view this toolkit, please visit the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/legionella/health-depts/inv-tools-cluster/index.html