Huntington Beach, CA, September 30th, 2019
The Sun published an article earlier this year about the discovery of Legionella, the microbial pathogen that causes Legionnaire’s disease and Pontiac fever, at a VA Medical Center in Southern California. The publication described an ongoing investigation that was part of a whistleblower allegation concerning the facility.
While most cases of Legionnaires’ disease are not associated with health care facilities, the disease is more likely to result in fatality when the infection is contracted from a healthcare environment, including long-term care facilities and hospitals.
People typically get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in water droplets containing the bacteria. The CDC shares the following sources where contaminated water droplets can spread the bacteria in a healthcare environment, they include:
- Showerheads and sink faucets
- Hydrotherapy equipment, such as jetted therapy baths
- Medical equipment, such as respiratory machines, bronchoscopes and heater-cooler units
- Ice machines
- Cooling towers (parts of large air-conditioning systems)
- Decorative fountains and water features
“The CDC recommends that an effective Legionella water management program be in place at healthcare facilities,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “The program should consist of a number of components to prevent the disease, including identifying areas where the bacteria could grow and spread, determining where control measures should be applied and monitored, and establishing ways to intervene when control limits are not met.”
LA Testing has multiple laboratories across California and offers traditional culturing methods, rapid PCR and Whole Genome Sequencing test methods to identify Legionella from all types of environmental samples. LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about Legionella and healthcare facilities that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/WvSsSqQ_nF4.
To learn more about Legionella or other aquatic and airborne pathogen testing 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, San Diego and Ontario.