Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments such as lakes and streams. Legionella can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made and/or potable water systems. Access Analytical utilizes the IDEXX laboratories Legiolert testing technology to rapidly detect Legionella in both potable and non-potable water samples.
Some key information about Legionella, as published on the CDC website is as follows:
- Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever, collectively known as legionellosis.
- The bacterium was named after an outbreak in 1976, when many people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion got sick with pneumonia (lung infection).
- About 6,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in the United States in 2015. However, because Legionnaires’ disease is likely underdiagnosed, this number may underestimate the true incidence.
- About one out of every 10 people who get sick from Legionnaires’ disease will die.
- People can get Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain Legionella.
- In general, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people. However, this may be possible in rare cases.
- Legionella is found naturally in fresh water environments, like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems.
- Keeping Legionella out of water systems in buildings is key to preventing infection.
Please contact Access Analytical if you have questions about setting up a preventative testing program at your facility.