Legionnaires’ disease (LD) was first recognized in 1976 following an outbreak of pneumonia among delegates at the American Legion annual convention held in the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. Since that outbreak where 221 persons became ill and 34 died, the annual number of cases has continued to rise. Reported cases of Legionellosis have risen from 1,127 to 4,954 from 2000-2013, representing a 320% rise. In response to the ever-increasing number of reported cases and no clear framework for proactive assessment and monitoring of building water systems for Legionella, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) developed the Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Legionella in Building Water Systems guideline.
This webinar will introduce participants to the history of Legionella and the illnesses it can cause, namely Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) and Pontiac Fever (PF); the pathology of Legionella and how it inhabits, amplifies, and survives in building water systems; and the chain of events that result in human disease. Presenters will then cover the history of Legionella research and update or dispel many of the myths and disproven theories surrounding Legionella.
The second half of the webinar will focus on the 2015 AIHA Legionella guideline and how it can be used as a framework for both proactive routine and investigative assessments of potential Legionella amplification sites in buildings. Participants will become familiar with the guidance contents, as well as its scope and approach to assessing Legionella hazards in buildings. The general framework for developing and implementing an assessment and how results from measuring water parameters, Legionella concentrations, and monitoring control measures may be interpreted and used to direct actions.
Webinar participants will become familiar with the general background and public health issues surrounding Legionella and how the AIHA guidelines provide a competent professional with a fundamental framework for them to develop and perform a Legionella Hazard or Risk Assessment. This introductory webinar is intended for everyone who should know more about Legionella and the risks it poses to workers, visitors, and the general public. Managers, building owners, industrial hygienists, environmental health professionals, and public health officials involved with the investigation of Legionnaires disease would all benefit from the information presented in this webinar.
Upon completion, participants will be able to:
- Explain the general background and public health issues surrounding Legionella.
- Outline how the AIHA guidelines provide a competent professional with a fundamental framework for them to develop and perform a Legionella Hazard or Risk Assessment.
- Understand the guideline contents, scope, and approach to assessing Legionella hazards in buildings.
- Discuss the history of Legionella research and update participants or dispel many of the myths and disproven theories surrounding Legionella.
Dr. David Krause, MSPH, CIH