ARE YOU AT RISK OF CONTRACTING LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE?
With over 220,000 coronavirus cases and a little over 32,000 fatalities, the UK now has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe. During the current coronavirus pandemic, focus has been shifted to the safety and wellbeing of the general public concerning tackling the spread of the virus.
When announcing the new lockdown measures, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson directed all but essential businesses to close with immediate effect. We were asked to stay at home and go outside only for exercise, medical needs and essential shopping.
But There Seems To Be A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
The government plans to lift a few restrictions perceived as less risky in terms of spreading the virus. This includes letting some non-essential businesses reopen.
What The ‘New Normal’ Might Look Like
Caution during reopening hasn’t really been part of a continuity planning for most building owners. Very few businesses in the UK are thinking through how the lockdown will affect their continuity and reopening efforts.
Most companies have never had to deal with such low occupancy.
For instance, unless the water pipes in commercial facilities are flushed and sanitised, they are at risk for a waterborne disease outbreak. Leaving water systems contaminated could lead to severe health consequences when people eventually return to work.
The Treasury and Business Departments have been in discussions with firms about coming up with guidelines on how workplaces can operate safely.
Proposed measures include provision of hand sanitiser dispensers, installing plexiglass screens between office desks, wearing masks and wider walkways.
The sudden closure of businesses, schools, factories, hotels and government facilities led to an unprecedented decline in water use.
When a building is unoccupied for an extended period, the flow of water stops or reduces significantly. This can lead to stagnation that encourages biofilm and bacteria to grow at toxic levels.
When water structures aren’t maintained with proper disinfectants, they create conditions ripe for the Legionella bacteria. The bacteria cause Legionnaires’ disease, a common type of bacterial pneumonia (lung infection) that can be fatal.
The disease infects people when the bacteria is released into the air. Sources can be many, from shower heads to hot tubs to industrial water-cooling systems.
The Legionella Symptoms
While Legionnaires’ disease can’t be spread from human to human contact like Covid-19, victims tend to show the same symptoms as coronavirus patients. This can easily lead to a misdiagnosis.
Lung infection is common as the Legionella bacteria grow in the moist, warm environment of the lungs. What’s interesting is that this disease is a severe, often lethal form of pneumonia!
Other symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, muscle aches, diarrhoea and chills.
The symptoms take 2 to 14 days to show after being exposed to the Legionella bacteria.
Legionnaires’ Disease Is Preventable
In most areas of the UK, Legionella contamination is determined more by the maintenance and operation of a building’s water systems than by the public water supply.
Prevention is better than cure. The most effective way to prevent being infected is to ensure that the water systems in your building are properly maintained.
As a building owner, you still maintain a legal obligation to protect those in and around your premises from exposure to Legionella bacteria.
When you choose MBMS, you’re assured of water systems operating in a way to reduce dangerous conditions that could cause Legionella and other waterborne pathogens to thrive.
We offer a variety of reliable and affordable Legionella consultancy services. Read more about our Legionella Risk Assessment services.
Contact us today for a free quote!