A recent article released by the Texas Medical Centre reported an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in two seperate state fairs in North Carolina and Texas.
The article, which can be found here reports that between the two outbreaks, over 150 confirmed cases and 4 deaths were the tragic toll.
The source of the North Carolina outbreak was reported to be the hot tub display at the state fair. While hot tubs are known to present a bacterial, including Legionella, risk, it is relatively unusual to hear of an outbreak with a mobile display.
While legionnaires disease should be a foreseeable risk to companies that manufacture and sell hot tubs, perhaps the sales team would not be as aware. It does raise an interesting question about what other infrastructure or assets (in the built environment) is a potential legionella, or other bacteria, risk.
In our experience, the detection of Legionella and other water borne diseases have largely been in the traditional assets such as cooling towers, showers, emergency showers and eyewashes, low flows dead legs / taps etc., but not exclusive to these.
Some of the more unusual areas where water borne disease include misting systems, popular at restaurants and pubs in the summer months, drinking fountains, water storage tanks and water play features – splash pools, child friendly fountains and the like.
Have you come across any other less common areas that people should consider?
Legionella, as the Texas Medical Centre article refers to, is a preventable disease and one that we have experience in helping to manage. Our Legionella compliance software is used by our clients to proactively manage or prevent legionella becoming a real risk within their premises. To find out more, have a look here.
Dealing with all natural occurring bacteria, it is true to say there is no silver bullet solution. As soon as you have taken some action to prevent the bacteria from proliferating, the bacteria will begin reproducing again. Therefor management is the best that can be achieve and the silver bullet (for now) can be set aside. And when it comes to management, proactive management is the best type.
Our Legionella compliance software is used by a range of clients to manage their legionella risk and proactively take preventative actions to ensure that the physical operations that do have a meaningful impact are taking place.
So for everyone out there that has some responsibility for managing water hygiene, remember to consider less traditional legionella prone assets and consider that the next outbreak could be somewhere you don’t suspect…