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  • Writer's picturePedro Duarte

Legionella: Little-known facts about the bacteria

Updated: Mar 1

Legionella Bacteria

Here are some little-known facts about Legionella that you might find interesting:

Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious respiratory illness known as Legionnaires' disease. This disease can be fatal if left untreated, making it important to understand the bacteria and how it can be prevented. Here are some little known facts about Legionella.

Legionella can be found in natural water sources

Legionella bacteria are commonly found in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. However, the bacteria can also survive in man-made environments such as hot tubs, cooling towers, and water systems. Legionella bacteria can grow and multiply in stagnant water, making it important to regularly clean and maintain these water systems to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria.

Legionella can survive in a wide range of temperatures

Legionella bacteria can survive and multiply in water temperatures ranging from 20 to 50 degrees Celsius. However, the bacteria grow best in temperatures between 35 to 46 degrees Celsius. This is why hot water systems and cooling towers are particularly vulnerable to Legionella growth, and why it is important to regularly monitor and maintain the temperature of these systems.

Legionnaires' disease is not contagious

Legionnaires' disease is caused by inhaling water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. The disease is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. However, it can be transmitted through contaminated water systems, which is why it is important to regularly test and clean water systems in buildings such as hotels, hospitals, and office buildings.

Legionnaires' disease can be treated with antibiotics

If caught early, Legionnaires' disease can be treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, the disease can cause severe pneumonia and can be fatal. People with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Legionella can be prevented

Preventing the growth of Legionella bacteria requires regular maintenance of water systems, including cleaning and disinfection. Regular testing and monitoring of water systems can also help to identify any potential issues early on. Installing devices such as point-of-use filters and UV light sterilizers, as well as adopting replacement shower heads schemes in public facilities, can also help to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria in water systems.

In conclusion, Legionella is a serious bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal respiratory illness. Understanding the little known facts about Legionella, including where it can be found and how it can be prevented, can help to reduce the risk of Legionnaires' disease and protect public health.

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