First recognized in the 1976 outbreak in Philadelphia area hotels, Legionnaires’ disease afflicts 6 to 8 thousand people each year. This number may underestimate the true incidence since cases are likely underdiagnosed. The bacterium Legionella pneumophila is responsible for the majority of cases of Legionnaires’ disease. It causes a severe form of pneumonia that can result in long-term health issues and, not infrequently, death. Symptoms of legionellosis include high fever, cough, muscle aches, headaches, and diarrhea.
Hotels and the hospitality industry remain at risk for Legionella outbreaks.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionella can infiltrate hotel water systems and contaminate showerheads, sinks, water heaters, cooling towers, and fountains if they are not treated properly.
Specific risk factors for hotels include complex, often outdated, water systems with numerous outlets, inconsistent occupancy resulting in water stagnation, and the presence of additional water sources such as pools, spas, ice machines, and fountains. With over 50,000 hotels nationwide, representing 1.1 billion guest nights annually, this risk is significant.
For the hotel and hospitality industry, a Legionella outbreak represents a liability both in terms of potential legal claims and loss of reputation.
It is imperative that hotels have a robust water management plan, including regular testing for Legionella, to ensure the safety of guests and the public who are exposed to water systems within their facilities.
U.S. Micro-Solutions is a microbiology laboratory licensed and accredited for expert environmental testing, including water analysis and identification of specific pathogens.
We offer the gold standard ISO 11731 culture method coupled with species identification of Legionella by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Our services include testing potable, nonpotable, and industrial water and swab samples.
Visit our Legionella Testing Page to learn more about Legionella guidelines, collection instructions, chain of custody, and to view sample reports.
U.S. Micro-Solutions is accredited by CDC ELITE, New York ELAP, and AIHA-LAP, LLC.
If you would like to learn more about U.S. Micro-Solutions’ water testing services, please give us a call at 724-853-4047, or visit our Contact Us page.