The latest ECDC report paints a concerning picture of Legionnaires’ disease

Posted: 21.11.2023

The recent ECDC report paints a concerning picture of Legionnaires’ disease in the EU/EEA, marking 2021 as the year with the highest annual notification rate to date. Italy, France, Spain, and Germany led the statistics, accounting for 75% of reported cases. Males aged 65 and above were the most affected, emphasising the importance of water hygiene in our communities.

At Genex, specialising in Legionella testing and risk assessments, we understand the gravity of these findings. The 38% surge in travel-associated cases in 2021, likely linked to eased COVID-19 restrictions, underscores the need for heightened awareness and preventive measures.

The causes behind the rise in Legionnaires’ cases remain elusive, but factors like changes in testing policies, aging populations, and water system design could contribute. Climate fluctuations also impact Legionella ecology, making proactive Legionella management crucial.

Legionnaires’ disease, primarily caused by Legionella pneumonia, thrives in water systems generating inhalable aerosols. Systems like cooling towers, showers, and hot tubs pose risks if not maintained properly. Temperature control, water circulation, and regular disinfection are key preventive measures.

Public health vigilance is paramount, and we’re committed to supporting it. Regular Legionella checks and robust control measures are essential, especially in high-risk settings like tourist accommodations, hospitals, and long-term healthcare facilities.

Key preventive measures include:

Regular maintenance, cleaning, and disinfection of water systems.

Keeping cold-water systems below 20°C and hot-water systems above 50°C.

Ensuring proper water flow to minimise stagnant water.

Disinfecting hot water systems with chlorine.

Regular cleaning of air conditioning systems.

Property Managers and Responsible Persons can find more information on how we can help you prevent Legionnaires’ disease here.

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