Huntington Beach, CA, March 12th, 2018
Last month, FOX26 published a report about a veteran’s home resident that contracted legionellosis, a disease caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria. The article states the patient is being treated at a VA hospital and that staff at the retirement home hyper-chlorinated the building’s water system to try and prevent additional cases of the respiratory infection.
People who get sick after being exposed to Legionella can develop two different illnesses, Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ disease is very similar to other types of pneumonia, with symptoms that may include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches. There is a 5% to 30% of mortality rate for those infected according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pontiac fever symptoms are primarily fever and muscle aches, as it is a milder infection than Legionnaires’ disease. Symptoms of Pontiac fever typically begin between a few hours to 3 days after being exposed to the bacteria and usually last less than a week. Pontiac fever is different from Legionnaires' disease because someone with Pontiac fever does not have pneumonia.
“Monitoring for Legionella in high risk environments, such as nursing homes and healthcare facilities, is essential for preventing infections in vulnerable populations,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Fortunately, in this case, there were no reports of additional people becoming ill. However, proactive environmental testing of the facility’s water system may have allowed the issue to be caught before anyone else became sick.”
To help prevent new cases of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontic fever or to pinpoint the source of an existing outbreak, LA Testing offers environmental testing services and all of the supplies necessary to submit samples. Both rapid PCR and traditional culturing methods are available. The testing professionals also recently sponsored an educational video about Legionella and healthcare facilities that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/U3BomWHD6ZE.
To learn more about Legionella testing or other environmental, occupational, health and safety services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.