Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made building water systems like showerheads and sink faucets, cooling towers (structures that contain water and a fan as part of centralized air cooling systems for building or industrial processes), hot tubs that aren’t drained after each use, decorative fountains and water features, hot water tanks and heaters as well as large plumbing systems. Home and car air-conditioning units do not use water to cool the air, so they are not a risk for Legionella growth.
Reasons why most buildings are prone to waterborne pathogens and Legionella growth:
Past history of
Legionella in the system
The natural presence of waterborne
pathogens in makeup water
People 50 years or older.
Current or former smokers.
People with chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema).
People with weak immune systems or who take drugs that weaken the immune system (like after a transplant operation or chemotherapy).
People with cancer.
People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney or liver failure.
People that contracted Covid-19.
9 in 10
CDC investigations show almost all outbreaks were
caused by problems preventable with more effective water management.