Efforts to prevent Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria, focus on comprehensive water management programs. These programs aim to control water quality in systems where the bacteria thrive, such as cooling towers, hot water tanks, and large plumbing systems in buildings. Research in this area
explores optimizing disinfection techniques, improving water treatment protocols, and developing real-time monitoring systems to detect Legionella contamination. Advanced molecular techniques like PCR and metagenomics are also employed to better understand the pathogen’s ecology. Public health campaigns emphasize the importance of regular inspection, maintenance, and certification of water systems to mitigate the risks.
Number of Cases
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), one of our bedrock environmental laws, established the role of government in providing safe, clean drinking water.
Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia that is often severe and has a 7–10% mortality rate, is the leading cause of drinking water disease outbreaks in the United States.
Household water systems have been proposed as a source of sporadic, community-acquired Legionnaires’ disease.
Dr. Hung Cheung, Founder and President of Cogency and Board Member of APLD, discusses what Legionnaires’ Disease is and the difference between an outbreak and sporadic cases. Dr. Hung Cheung uses examples throughout the video to bring awareness to Legionnaires’ Disease.