A question we encounter frequently; what is Legionella?

Legionella is a bacteria that causes a dangerous form of pneumonia called legionellosis. Legionellosis refers to all diseases caused by Legionella bacteria and includes the pneumonia-like illness called Legionnaires’ disease.

What are the Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease?

Common symptoms are tiredness, muscle pain and headache. Other symptoms could include but are not limited to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

Where is Legionella Found?

Legionella bacteria can be found outdoors naturally in any freshwater environment, including here in Southwestern Ontario. Normally the levels of the bacteria are too low to cause a health concern, particularly outdoors. Legionella is a health concern when it makes its way into potable water systems and the water source becomes aerosolized (such as with a shower faucet). Most known Legionella outbreaks are caused by poorly maintained cooling towers on commercial and industrial HVAC systems.

Has Anyone Had Legionellosis in Ontario Recently?

Absolutely. According to Public Health Ontario, from January to September of 2022 there were 256 Legionellosis cases in Ontario. In 2021 there were 376 cases. In 2021, Middlesex County including Delaware, Glencoe, London, Mount Brydges Newbury, Strathroy, Wardsville and surrounding areas had 26 confirmed cases of Legionnaires disease. Also in 2021 Windsor-Essex including Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington Tecumseh, the Township of Pelee and surrounding areas had 11 confirmed cases.

How Do You Test for Legionella Bacteria?

Indoor Environmental Specialists Inc. can perform testing for Legionella in your residential, commercial, educational, institutional and industrial facilities. All testing is performed by knowledgeable, trained professionals following Public Health Ontario guidelines. Contact us today with any Legionella testing inquiries at 519-256-8388 or info@iesconsulting.ca.

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Chris Croft Technical Specialist

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