Legionella control: The lesser-known group of bacteria

legionella control is a group of pathogenic bacteria, which causes a disease called Legionnaires. They are mostly found in domestic water systems, soil, swimming pools and other such water sources. They have a cylinder-like appearance and are found in clusters.


What is legionella risk assessment?
The health and safety legislation expects the owner of the property to have a legionella risk assessment, which would determine the exposure of legionella bacteria within the water supply system. During the testing process, all the water systems present within the property are subjected to various checking processes, and the water sample is tested in the laboratory. It is required for the water sample to be containing <= 100 bacteria per litre of water for the system to be considered safe. How can the growth be controlled? It is seen that the bacteria multiply actively between the temperature of 25°C to 50°C. Hence, one of the methods of legionella control is the thermal method, where the water sources must be maintained at either over 51°C or under 25°C. Another method of controlling their growth is by using chemicals. Chlorine is mainly used for this purpose. Legionaries disease Legionaries disease is a type of pneumonia, which includes symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, cough, fever, etc. It usually affects a person when one breathes in the mist containing the bacteria and sometimes through the soil as well. It is a non-communicable disease, i.e. it doesn't spread from one person to another. People of any age may be infected by legionella. But it is seen that mostly middle-aged or older people are more affected by it. In addition to that, smokers face a higher risk of being affected by it. Antibiotics such as tetracycline’s and macrolides are used to treat the disease. The fatality rate of this disease is pretty low, which is about 5% to 20% of the infected people face death.