COVID-19 SUCKS BUT WHAT ABOUT LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE?
MBMS Warns That Easing The Lockdown And Getting The Country Back To Work May Put You At Risk Of Contracting Legionnaires’ Disease
Martin Badley, the owner and managing director of MBMS, a Facilities Management Services company, is concerned that many businesses may not be aware of the danger that they are at risk of a waterborne disease outbreak, unless the water pipes in their buildings and offices are flushed and sanitised.
Leaving water systems contaminated could lead to severe health consequences when people eventually return to work, after the lockdown.
Martin explains that “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 causes 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 taps, toilets and shower heads to industrial water-cooling systems.”
“Whilst 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. 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.
Imagine surviving Covid-19 and resuming work and then being infected by Legionnaires’ Disease” said Martin.
“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.
The most effective way to prevent being infected is to ensure that the water systems in your building are properly maintained. 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.
The HSE recommends that water systems should be recommissioned as though they were new. This means thoroughly cleaning, flushing and disinfecting before allowing their use. All building owners also have an obligation to protect those in and around their premises from exposure to Legionella bacteria.
At MBMS, we offer a Legionella Risk Assessment Service and will ensure that your water systems are properly maintained and up to current health and safety standards” said Martin.
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