Yet another deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease was reported this week in Quebec City, Canada. And the reason is a common one.
When we first came across this story, 165 people had been diagnosed with Legionella and 10 had died. As of yesterday, the death toll has grown to 11, with 169 confirmed cases.
Blame is falling on improper maintenance of cooling towers in Quebec City, in a similar situation to the last outbreak in Edinburgh, Scotland. 130 cooling towers in Quebec City have been inspected and disinfected and officials believe that the diagnoses have peaked.
Legionellosis or Legion Fever is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that causes a high fever and pneumonia. It incubates over a period of between 2 and 10 days. Not everyone who is exposed to the Legionella bacterium gets sick, but of those who do the mortality rate can be as high as 30%. If it is contracted in the hospital, the death rate can be as high as 50%.
People at higher risk for contracting Legionnaires’ are: those over 50, smokers and those with chronic lung disease, but anyone can come down with this or it’s milder cousin, Pontiac Fever.
At AirTek, where we offer the maintenance services needed to keep cooling towers bacteria free, we wish that cities around the world would take the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease more seriously. Keeping cooling towers and other systems which can harbor contaminated water clean and disinfected is well worth the cost, especially when the alternative is so very dire.
Read more about cleaning cooling towers
Read more about Legionnaires’ Disease
Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!
Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek and our parent company, Alliance Environmental Group, which offers residential and commercial cleaning, pest control, demolition, structural pasteurization and many other enviromental challenges. Please Like AirTek on Facebook and Follow @AirTekCA on Twitter!