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Old 08-03-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Strong Men Island
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Default Just got word that 2 people from my college got Legionella Bacteria

LaGuardia Community College

On June 26, 2012 the New York City Department of Health (NYC DOH) contacted our Environmental Health and Safety Office to report that two individuals who worked in the C Building contracted Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia. DOH said they were not sure whether or not the individuals contracted the disease at our location. The cases occurred since August 2011. We are working with DOH and have hired Olmsted Environmental Services, Inc. to address this issue.

Legionellosis is caused by bacteria (germs) called Legionella, which can grow in some water systems. The disease cannot be spread from one person to the next, nor is it spread through drinking water. A person who has legionellosis most likely breathed in water mist that contained the bacteria. Such mist can come from showerheads and cooling towers from large air conditioning systems. Many other institutional settings, such as hospitals, encounter this problem and continue to operate while taking remedial action.

Olmsted Services took water samples in the C Building and identified the Legionella bacteria in the hot water system. We were advised to turn off the hot water systems in the C Building, flush out the hot water systems to remove sediment, and either boil the water or chlorinate the system according to established protocols. Most of the stand alone units were treated using either or both methods this past week. This weekend we will chlorinate the larger hot water system in the C Building. All water service for most of the C Building will be turned off between 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday for treatment. Testing will be repeated in seven days to assess the effectiveness of the treatment. Cold water was not turned off because the bacteria was not found and rarely is the source of the bacteria. DOH has reviewed and approved our course of action.

Legionnaire’s disease is rare in healthy people and is easily treatable with antibiotics. The risk of developing the infection depends on how much bacteria is present in the water mist, how much a person breathes in, and individual health factors. Legionellosis most often affects middle-aged and older people, particularly those who smoke or have chronic lung disease. People with suppressed immune systems from cancer, kidney diseases, diabetes or AIDS are also at higher risk.

The symptoms of legionellosis include fever, chills and cough. If you experience these symptoms, you should visit your doctor. Explain to your doctor that you are concerned about legionellosis, and ask that he or she perform a chest x-ray to look for pneumonia and do a urine antigen test for legionellosis. There are several tests available, but the urine test is the simplest, and does not require a blood specimen. Blood testing requires two tests and will take four weeks to make the diagnosis. The symptoms of legionellosis are the same as pneumonia caused by other bacteria.

If you are concerned that you may have legionellosis, or your doctor tells you that you have the illness, please immediately notify Peter Jayasekara or Joseph Dror of the College’s Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Richard Elliott
Vice President of Administration

I've been getting coughs a lot lately and I NEVER cough. I'm scared, I seen a paper on the wall about this today and barely paid any attention just skimmed through it. So happens I check my email and I RARELY check my emails.. and I rarely click on any emails from school, I came upon this.

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