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  • Lisamarie Lamb

Symptoms of Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires’ disease isn’t something that can be passed from person to person; it is a disease that is caught through inhaling droplets of infected water (this might happen in a shower, via the air conditioning, a spa pool, or any other kind of outlet that gives off an aerosol). It can’t be caught through drinking infected water, however. Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia, and can be fatal.

Because legionnaires’ disease is so dangerous, it is vitally important that a risk assessment is carried out by a professional to ensure that any problem areas within buildings are picked up and dealt with. This will help to reduce the chances of anyone within the building, whether that be an employee, student, contractor, member of the public, patient, or anyone, contracting legionnaires’ disease.

However, because not all buildings have a risk assessment, and not all risk assessments are acted on, it is important to know the symptoms of legionnaires’ disease, just in case someone you are working with, for, or employ catches it, especially since quick treatment is paramount, and deaths occur in 10 to 15 percent of all cases.

The main symptoms are:

• A cough that lasts for a long time

• Bad chest pain

• Shortness of breath

• Headache

• Aching muscles/pain within muscles

• High temperature

• Fatigue

• Feeling hot and shivery

• Diarrhoea

• Flu-like feeling

• Mental confusion

Remember, symptoms of legionnaires’ disease won’t necessarily start as soon as you are exposed to the bacteria, which means that it might be several days before symptoms appear. By this time, it might be difficult to determine just where the disease was contracted, and this can mean a major crisis in terms of health – if the disease can’t be traced back to a source, many more people can be exposed while an investigation is carried out.

To have a professional carry out a risk assessment in your building, and to discuss your next steps, please get in touch with Assured Water Hygiene. We have many years of experience and can help you ensure your building and the people within it are as protected from legionella bacteria as possible.

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