What is Legionnaires' Disease?
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 form of pneumonia which can prove to be fatal and everyone is open to infection. The older you get the higher risk you are of contracting the disease. 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.
To place this into context;
How is Legionnaires Disease contracted?
Legionnaires’ disease is normally contracted by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, containing the bacteria which is why showers and spa baths are higher risk.
Certain conditions within the water will increase the risk of legionella such as:
- Water temperature between 20 and 45 degrees
- Sources of nutrients such as scale, biofilm, sludge, organic matter and rust
- Stagnated water that is then recirculated as part of the system