Building operators have a specific responsibility to ensure the safety of building occupants in this period of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the challenge is to maintain holistic control of all potential hazards that, without suitably applied knowledge and understanding, could create further – and significant – health issues. This includes the risks arising from legionella. Our tips on Legionella control can help building owners address the risks involved.
Legionella bacteria, which causes a potentially fatal pneumonia-like infection, win practically identical risk groups and symptoms to COVID-19, thrives in stagnant water and presents a serious public health risk where:
- Systems have not been flushed,
- Systems have experienced thermal gain,
- Or where there has been substantial growth in biofilm (which can act as a host for Legionella bacteria and can protect it from heat and chemical treatment).
Additionally, a study by Chinese doctors has found that around 20% of COVID-19 sufferers were also infected win Legionnaires’ disease, which suggests that the pandemic has put persons at an increased risk of developing the infection whilst in recovery and possibly for months following recovery. Legionella is a notifiable disease and can be spread in the following ways.