Legionella E-news, December 2000
Matthew R. Freije, Editor
**IN THIS ISSUE**
1. CBS Evening News to air Legionnaires' story tomorrow
2. Another major outbreak in Spain
3. Legionella associated with home plumbing repairs
1. CBS EVENING NEWS TO AIR LEGIONNAIRES' STORY TOMORROW
CBS Evening News with Dan Rather has produced a story on hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease. Unless a major news event preempts regular programming, the story is to air tomorrow evening (Friday, 15 December). Check your TV listings to verify the program time in your area. If you miss it on TV, look for the online version at http://cbsnews.com.
2. ANOTHER MAJOR OUTBREAK IN SPAIN
Last month we reported two outbreaks in Spain, one in Galicia involving 28 cases and 3 deaths and another in Barcelona involving 40 cases, one of whom has since died. Another major outbreak in Spain has been reported, this one in the Valencia region. 70 cases were reported from 16 September to 8 October 2000 -- 43 men and 27 women ranging from 20 to 95 years of age. Two patients have died. The investigation has revealed an association with visiting or living in a certain area of the city, but the source of contamination has not been identified. All cooling towers in the suspected area were disinfected. Intensified surveillance is continuing. Source: Eurosurveillance Weekly, 7 Dec 2000.
3. LEGIONELLA ASSOCIATED WITH HOME PLUMBING REPAIRS
A study of 146 adults showed a higher risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease shortly after home plumbing alterations or repairs were made (Straus W. L., J. F. Plouffe, T. M. File Jr., et al. "Risk Factors for Domestic Acquisition of Legionnaires Disease." Archives of Internal Medicine 156 ; 1685-1692.). Repair work can loosen biofilm from piping and plumbing fixtures, releasing high levels of legionellae into the water. Consider flushing the system with hot water (with the water heater at the highest setting) after any changes to the plumbing system, particularly if the house is occupied by anyone at high risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease. A heat flush procedure may minimize the risk by killing and flushing the legionellae that were released during the repairs. Source: Home Plumbing Systems: How to Reduce Your Risk of Legionnaires' Disease and Other Bacterial Infections (http://hcinfo.com/312info.htm).
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