There were 67 cases of legionnaires’ disease reported in Ireland during the period 2000 to 2007. There were five deaths due to legionnaires’ disease during this period
In April 2003 a woman died of Legionnaires Disease at Waterford Regional Hospital. After being admitted to hospital in March 2003 the patient was diagnosed as having Crohn’s Disease but a routine x-ray taken showed that the patient was also suffering from pneumonia. Further tests confirmed that she had Legionnaires Disease.
In 2008 RTE reported that two members of staff at the Allianz Insurance Company in Dublin had contracted the legionnaires disase. Tests linked the disease to one of the cooling towers used as part of the air conditioning system which was found to have high levels of the legionella bacterium.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is gram negative bacterium, including species that cause Legionellosis or Legionnaires’ disease, most notably L.pneumophilia. Legionnaires disease poses the greatest risk to people who are elderly, ill or immunocompromised.
Legionella transmission is via aerosols, and insulation of mist droplets containing the bacteria. Common source include:
A number of factors are required to create a risk of Legionella including; presence of the Legionella bacteria, water change rate, degree of exposure, presence of the numbers of people who may be at risk of exposure, water temperatures, total microbial count, enclosed or open systems.
What Creates the Risk of Legionella?
A number of factors are required to create a risk of Legionella, including;
For more information or to manage or assess risk or incidents of Legionella you should contact a reputable Legionella Risk Assessment Consultant.