What Is Legionella?
Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires ’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection.
The risk increases with age, but some people are at higher risk, eg people over 45, smokers and heavy drinkers, people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, lung and heart disease or anyone with an impaired immune system. The bacterium Legionella pneumophila and related bacteria are common in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but usually in low numbers.
They may also be found in purpose-built water systems, such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools. If conditions are favourable, the bacteria may multiply, increasing the risks of Legionnaires ’ disease, and it is therefore important to control the risks by introducing appropriate measures.Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations (L8)
Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations (L8)
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