Taking a Deeper Look at Legionella Outbreaks

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Taking a Deeper Look at Legionella Outbreaks

A legionella outbreak occurs when several people exposed to legionella bacteria display sickness symptoms simultaneously. Once this happens, a legionella outbreak response team, from the public health department, conducts an investigation. The response team carries out an environmental assessment, as shown in the video.

The legionella outbreak response team conducts an assessment in the affected facility within 72 hours after notification of the outbreak. The team completes a legionella assessment form.

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The form usually helps to determine the sampling sites and the team must complete the assessment within one week. The samples are sent for testing to the Legionella isolation and evaluation program.

The facility being assessed must provide a copy of its Water Management assessment to the Office of Environmental Health Services (OEHS) to review and revise the document. If any of the samples return positive for legionella, the facility must follow the remediation process.

Depending on the affected water system infrastructure, the team will recommend the best remedial treatment procedure. Consult a professional, as specific treatment procedures should only be carried out by a professional. The most common remedial treatment is the application of chemical shock using a disinfectant.

The legionella outbreak response team aims to understand a facility’s water system by conducting an environmental assessment. The team advises the facility’s management on the best practices to help minimize the risk of a legionella outbreak. The team first takes samples to assess the current state of the facility’s water system.



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