February 5, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Portuguese researchers published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 4, 2016 suggesting that they have found a case in which Legionella bacteria were transmitted person-to-person. The case involves a 48-year-old man who works as a maintenance worker at an industrial cooling tower complex.  He became infected with Legionella pneumophila in October 2014 and was one of the first cases involved in a cluster of cases in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. The man lived with his 74-year-old mother and when he developed respiratory symptoms including severe cough, she took care of him.  Approximately two weeks later, the…

January 26, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

        Since beginning the investigation into the Flint Water Crisis, Governor Snyder has assembled a Flint Water Advisory Task Force which has advised and implemented strategies to combat the outbreak and administer aid where needed. This has been very important to the recovery of the city, but the task force has also issued warnings about the future. Last Friday, Gov. Snyder’s task force predicted a rise in the number of Legionnaires’ disease cases in the Spring. Legionella bacteria thrive in warmer temperatures, and the transition from Winter to Spring could be a catalyst for Legionella proliferation Mark Bashore did…

January 22, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

(Photo: Martha Thierry Detroit Free Press, Tribune News Service)     The Michigan Department of Health has made a recommendation to any media outlets reporting on the Flint water crisis to report that 9 people, not 10, died due to symptoms resulting from Legionnaires’ disease. This distinction is important because it helps to keep reporting factual, and reduces the ambiguity when determining the cause of death of the victims with comorbid health issues.     For example, an elderly gentleman with multiple health issues may contract Legionnaires’ disease and later pass away, but his passing may not have been specifically…

January 21, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Florida Hospital Orlando’s water system is undergoing remediation after testing positive for Legionella bacteria last week. So far, no patients at the hospital have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease.  Hospital officials also said that the hospital’s water is safe to drink. At-risk patients of the hospital are being tested for Legionella and hospital staff have been instructed to take extra measures to prevent vulnerable patients from contracting Legionnaires’ disease. Florida Hospital Orlando’s most recent incident with the pneumonia-causing bacteria occurred in late 2015 when a patient tested positive for Legionella. To read more about this story, please click here.

January 12, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

   Taking a shower is a staple of personal hygiene, and is generally considered a necessity. It is important to stay clean, and showers provide us with that luxury, but the environment that cleans us can also house a number of harmful substances and organisms if not properly maintained. Mirror posted an article detailing a few different ways “your shower could kill you”, and while the article is a little more alarmist than necessary it does provide some interesting facts on a few different bacteria, fungi, and pathogens that can help identify preventative measures. Additionally, the article identifies which populations are…

January 11, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Corey Gutwasser, a 25-year-old in Lakeville, Minnesota is out of his medically induced coma that he was put in last month due to Legionnaires’ disease. According to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, he was exposed to Legionella bacteria in November and was put on life support in December, but is now in stable condition. Gutwasser’s mother, Melanie Buetow, said that her son will need physical rehabilitation to relearn how to talk and eat. The Minnesota Department of Health conducted an investigation and cited Babe’s Bar and Grill in Lakeville as a potential source of Gutwasser’s Legionnaires’ disease.  Gutwasser worked at…

January 7, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

School officials in Elgin, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, are considering a more intensive Legionella testing schedule after three schools were shut down due to the bacteria last year. The Elgin Courier-News found that Essential Water Technologies, the water treatment company for School District U-46, recommended quarterly Legionella testing for cooling towers.  School officials want even more stringent testing schedules to err on the side of caution; however, no timeline is set. In September 2015, three schools and an administration center in the Elgin were shut down due to high levels of Legionella in cooling towers.  3,000 students were evacuated. To read more about…

January 6, 2016 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Every year thousands of cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported that disrupt lives and place a great burden on businesses that could have potentially avoided outbreaks in their facilities. More and more institutions are enacting preventative measures to ensure that Legionnaires’ disease does not reach their populations. The questions is, then, what advice are these businesses and/or people following to guarantee that they will not have to deal with this issue?    Expert Sherrie Dornberger of McKnight’s News corroborates a suggestion made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC): don’t build a fountain. Many cases of Legionnaires’ disease arise from the…