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  • Lisamarie Lamb

More Legionella Facts

Although what legionella bacteria is - and what legionnaires' disease is - is becoming more and more understood, it is still sometimes a baffling subject for those who don't deal with it every day. The good news is that there are professionals (just like those at Assured Water) who can take on the role of ensuring your premises is legionella compliant, so you don't have to worry about it.

Even so, it can be useful to have more information about this potentially deadly bacteria that is so prevalent. Especially when the symptoms of legionnaires' disease can be confused with a number of different things (including, unfortunately, COVID-19). So here are some more legionella facts to help you get to grips with this particular facet of life more easily.

Legionnaires' Disease in the UK

Legionnaire’s disease affects about 500 people every year in England alone, and about 10 percent of those cases (so 50 people) will die from the disease.

There have been some serious outbreaks over the years that have catapulted legionnaires' disease into the public consciousness including:

  • 1985 - Stafford District Hospital

    • 175 cases and 28 confirmed deaths

    • Source of infection: rooftop air-conditioning cooling tower

  • 2002 - Forum 28 Arts Centre, Barrow-in-Furness

    • 172 cases and 7 confirmed deaths

    • Source of infection: contaminated cooling tower

  • 2012 - Warehouse, Stoke-on-Trent

    • 19 cases, 1 confirmed death

    • Source of infection: the warehouse hot tub

More Legionella facts

  • A Norwegian study has shown that legionella bacteria can spread much further than previously thought; it can travel up to 6 miles

  • The current figures show that 10 percent of legionnaires' disease patients will die from the disease

  • Legionella is not a problem when it is found in natural water sources such as lakes and rivers (and it is found there - a lot). It is only an issue when it enters manmade water systems

  • Legionella is inhaled via small droplets of water. This is why cooling towers, hot tubs, and showers are a particular concern

  • Around six percent of all domestic properties in the UK (around 1.5 million) have dangerously high levels of legionella in their water systems. However, since these systems are smaller and flushed through regularly, this doesn't usually present a problem

  • In 2019, there were 503 reported cases on legionnaires' disease in the UK

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