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 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…

January 13, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The next several blog posts are going to be a series that highlight a very important recent 2020 study published by the National Academies of Sciences about the management of Legionella in water systems. This comes at an important time, as Legionella is the number one cause of reported waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States.  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine produced a report that addressed the current state of the science with regard to Legionella. As a result, they included the current ecology, disease diagnosis, quantification, prevention and control, policy and guidance, and all associated research needs. The U.S. Centers…

December 15, 2020 jzacher 0 Comments

As buildings continue to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, the risk of legionella exposure remains, including in schools that have been closed for many months. Stagnant water, like that in buildings that have been closed for extended periods, provides an ideal environment for Legionella to grow. At least 10 schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio found harmful bacteria in their plumbing when attempting to reopen this fall. Schools often have many water use locations, from gym showers to drinking fountains, making them vulnerable to bacterial growth, including Legionella, when the systems aren’t cared for properly. However, water researchers note that most…

December 7, 2020 jzacher 0 Comments

Smithsonian Magazine recently published an article discussing rising rates of legionella exposure over the last two decades. While the United States has some of the safest drinking water in the world, due in large part to the passage of the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, exposure to legionella continues to be an issue across the country. Legionella accounts for about 60% of waterborne disease outbreaks over the last decade, now the leading cause of outbreaks. While almost 10,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported to the CDC in 2018 experts suggest that the real number may be significantly…

November 30, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Journalist’s Resource recently published an interesting article highlighting the inequities in access to safe in-home water across the United States. Around 1.1 million people across the U.S. report lacking some access to running water in their homes and households of color are disproportionately more likely to fall into this group. Households of color in metropolitan areas are 34% more likely to lack complete plumbing in their home. For a household to have complete plumbing, it must have it running hot and cold water plus a bathtub or shower used only by people living in the dwelling.…

November 23, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

There has been a suspected legionella outbreak in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Two individuals who stayed at the Round Barn Lodge have confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease. While there has not yet been testing to confirm the lodge as their source of exposure, both individuals began feeling symptoms 10-14 days after their stay which falls within the typical incubation period for Legionnaires’ disease. The lodge has since hired an independent laboratory partner to test the water and resolve any problems with the water that may be found. The lodge has voluntarily closed and notified past guests with information provided by the…