What is legionella, and why should senior living communities be concerned about it? (California) 


January 17, 2024

There are many aspects of dining services in senior living. One that may be overlooked is water quality. A community in California recently had an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease due to water contamination. Typically, Legionnaires Disease is transmitted through the air or through water that is accidentally aspirated into the lung. This causes a serious lung infection known as pneumonia.

 

How could this be prevented? The CDC has a guide, Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth & Spread in Buildings, for reducing legionella in water. For healthcare facilities, the recommendation is to develop a water management program that is made of a committee of skilled healthcare workers. This includes nurses, physicians, dietitians, maintenance, and potentially an outside resource, if additional expertise is needed. Having a water management program helps to establish when testing should occur and what steps to take if legionella is detected in water sources.

 

Categories: Environment - Life Safety, Sanitation