June 20, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Following a 2019 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that infected 16 people, a newly released report by New Brunswick Public Health says Organigram, the company whose cooling towers were linked to the outbreak, did not regularly clean their cooling towers. The 60-page document states that the company’s facility had two new cooling towers in 2019 that didn’t have a chemical treatment system activated. Further, regular cleanings and disinfecting were not scheduled and there was no documented water safety or maintenance plan. The report further states that 16 confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases were reported between July 15 and August 27, 2019. Of those…

May 24, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Following a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Palm Springs, the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health recently announced it was opening an investigation. The outbreak includes at least 20 cases, 14 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths that occurred between last fall and early this year. “Legionella can be spread to humans if they inhale contaminated water droplets or mist, causing some vulnerable individuals to come down with Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. He recommended that routine environmental sampling for Legionella is also an effective way to validate the efficacy…

May 17, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Following two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease from guests staying at the Hilton Grand Vacations in Waikiki in June 2021 and another confirmed case on March 6 or 7, 2022, the Hawai’i Department of Health has now confirmed an additional fourth case. The fourth case was diagnosed on April 26. The individual, a non-Hawai’i resident, stayed at the Grand Islander from April 16-18, 2022. “Legionnaires’ disease can potentially have severe consequences, and we encourage anyone who developed symptoms following a stay at the Grand Islander to contact a physician and DOH,” said Hawai’i State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. The investigation…

May 17, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Following the diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease in four local men, South Western Sydney Local Health District has issued a reminder to Macarthur residents to ensure their cooling towers are being properly maintained. All four men are in their 60s and 70s and contracted the disease in the past five weeks, in Camden and Narellan. All four men are currently recovering. The Health District’s Public Health Unit, in collaboration with Camden Council is investigating the case. However, the specific source of the infections has yet to be identified. Director of Public Health Dr. Naru Pal said it was vital that cooling…

April 19, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

In December 2020, the European Union (EU) revised the Drinking Water Directive by approving a new set of rules that extended Legionella monitoring to every potable water system in the EU. The new rules entered force on January 12, 2021, with new member states having two years to transpose them into national legislation. Member states are left free to determine their approach to testing, as they can choose the methods they find most appropriate for the purposes of sampling Legionella. In response to this, a new study has been initiated in Italy comparing the culture methods of testing for Legionella…

March 20, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The provincial government in Ontario, Canada, is considering steps to thwart the growth of legionella bacteria. The province saw an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases within the past year, with one outbreak being associated with ten confirmed cases and one potential death. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is encouraging the province to establish a registry of cooling towers and to require cooling tower sites to establish risk-management plans, a common source of legionella bacteria growth. The health board believes the registry will allow it to save time and resources identifying cooling tower sites, so it can more quickly respond…

March 14, 2022 zacherlaw 0 Comments

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been increasing since 2003. Incidence of the disease remained stable from 1992 to 2002, with an average of 1,221 reported cases each year. The average number of cases dramatically increased between 2003 to 2018 to 4,369 reported cases each year. The East North Central, Middle Atlantic, and New England regions were most affected by the increase in cases. Additionally, the highest incidence was in Black or African American persons. Increasing racial disparities, geographic focus, and seasonality were most associated with the…

September 8, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Cruise ship passengers have more to worry about than COVID-19 on cruise ships. Carnival Cruise lines recently sent a letter that informed their guests that two cases of Legionnaires disease occurred among passengers. The two cases occurred in July and August 2021. Carnival Cruise Line is working with the CDC to investigate this potential outbreak. The ship had not been used since March of last year. Stagnant water increases the risk of Legionella transmission as it creates favorable conditions for Legionella growth. The cruise line has begun substantial mitigation measures on board the ship in question. This includes testing all…

September 6, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

As recently reported on our blog, there is an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Harlem, NY. Additionally, dozens are sick after they were exposed this month at Duke University’s fantasy basketball camp. All over the country, cases of Legionnaires’ disease appear to be on the rise. Michigan noted an alarming statistic in July of an increase of 569% from July 2020. This is a huge spike in reported Legionnaires’ disease cases, with over 100 cases being reported in Michigan in the first half of July alone. [1] Many individuals are returning to buildings like schools and offices that have been…

August 24, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The CDC recently published recommendations for the best practices of disinfecting a hot tub that contains Legionella. It is vitally important that hot tubs are properly disinfected when Legionella is found. Hot tubs are a well-documented source of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. As the water heats up, some of the water particles are aerosolized. These are then inhaled by those in and around the hot tub. If these particles contain Legionella, there is a chance that the individual who inhaled it could get very sick. The first step in the disinfection process is to close the hot tub immediately.…