Legionella pneumophila has been shown to be a major cause of both pneumonia and an acute self limiting febrile disease called Pontiac Fever. Legionella pneumophila is the most common cause of Legionnaires' disease. Potential sources of legionella pneumophila include cooling towers, evaporative condensers, humidifiers, potable water heaters and holding tanks, pipes containing stagnant warm water, shower heads, faucet aerators, decorative fountains, nebulizers, mister reservoirs, and whirlpool baths.
Effective legionella risk management Is dependent on system cleanliness, and reducing nutrients available for bacteria to survive and multiply.
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Cooling Towers and Legionnaires' Disease
Cooling towers contain large amounts of water and are potential breeding grounds for Legionella bacteria if they are not properly disinfected and maintained. Water within cooling towers is heated via heat exchange, which is an ideal environment for Legionella heat-loving bacteria to grow. Legionnaires’ disease can be acquired when an individual breathes in water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. The disease was named in 1976, when American Legion members who attended a Philadelphia convention, suffered from an unusual pneumonia (lung infection). Outbreaks due to Legionnaires' disease from contaminated cooling towers still occur today.
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