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Legionella - Info

Temperature affects the survival of Legionellae as follows:

 

70 to 80 °C (158 to 176 °F) - Disinfection range

At 66 °C (151 °F) - Legionellae die within 2 minutes

At 60 °C (140 °F) - Legionellae die within 32 minutes

At 55 °C (131 °F) - Legionellae die within 5 to 6 hours

50 to 55 °C (122 to 131 °F) - They can survive but do not multiply

20 to 50 °C (68 to 122 °F)- Legionellae growth range

35 to 46 °C (95 to 115 °F) - Ideal growth range

Below 20 °C (68 °F) - Legionellae can survive but are dormant

Legionella is a waterborne bacterium that can cause diseases in humans. Legionnaires' disease is a characteristic pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella. It can be found naturally in lakes, streams and even in moist soil also in man made environments like in both domestic hot and cold water services. Legionella bacteria require nutrients to enable them to multiply. These nutrients are found in the water systems and include other common water organisms, sludge, scale and sediment but also iron often provided by corrosion particles.

Who is at most risk?

 

  • Elderly people (50+).

  • People with bad lungs - like smokers.

  • People with weakened immune systems.

  • Males are also three times more susceptible than females.

 

Healthy people can also be infected but as with most diseases the weaker you are the more susceptible you are.

How is it contracted?

 

As we have discussed Legionella is found on bodies of water but it is contracted by inhaling water spray (fine water droplets/aerosols) containing the bacterium. For example from showers, jet baths like whirlpool, taps, jacuzzis, and fountains.