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Legionella - What Is It And How To Prevent It


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Legionella is a genus of bacteria that can cause a serious respiratory infection called Legionnaires' disease. The bacteria are found in warm water, such as in hot tubs, cooling towers, and large plumbing systems. People can become infected by breathing in mist or vapour that contains the bacteria.


Legionella - What Is It And How To Prevent It


Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease


The symptoms of Legionnaires' disease typically start 2-10 days after exposure to the bacteria. They include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Muscle aches

  • Headache

  • Confusion

  • Diarrhoea



Diagnosis and treatment of Legionnaires' disease


Legionnaires' disease can be diagnosed by a blood test or a urine test. The bacteria can also be cultured from respiratory secretions. Treatment for Legionnaires' disease is with antibiotics.



Prevention of Legionnaires' disease


There are a number of things that can be done to prevent Legionnaires' disease, including:

  • Keeping hot tubs and spas at a temperature of 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Cleaning and maintaining cooling towers and large plumbing systems

  • Avoiding showering in hot tubs or spas that are not properly maintained



Complications of Legionnaires' disease


Legionnaires' disease can be a serious infection, and some people may develop complications, such as:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney failure

  • Meningitis

  • Death



Current status of Legionnaires' disease


The incidence of Legionnaires' disease has been increasing in recent years. Despite 503 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease in 2019 (according to Public Health England), research has estimated there are 4000 to 600 cases of Legionnaires' disease every year. The disease is more common in the summer and early autumn when the water temperature is warmer.



Risk factors for Legionnaires' disease


The risk of developing Legionnaires' disease is increased in people who are:

  • Older than 65 years old

  • Smokers

  • People with chronic lung disease

  • People with weakened immune systems



How to protect yourself from Legionnaires' disease


There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from Legionnaires' disease, including:

  • Avoid showering in hot tubs or spas that are not properly maintained.

  • Keep hot tubs and spas at a temperature of 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Clean and maintain cooling towers and large plumbing systems.

  • If you are at high risk for Legionnaires' disease, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.



If you would like to have a water check on your property, please Contact Bullseye Services now.


For more information on Bullseye Services and how we can help you please visit: bullseyeservices.co.uk.


For further advice on Legionella please visit: https://www.bullseyeservices.co.uk



Contact


Our website and brochure combined should provide you with all the information you need however if you do require further information, there's a quick and easy contact form on our website and, of course, you are more than welcome to use the more traditional ways to contact us.



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