Cinnaminson, NJ, May 18th, 2015
On May 13th, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued an alert about an increase in the number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease taking place in Queens. According to the Department, 10 cases have been diagnosed from April to May of this year involving residents of Queens. Of these new cases, 9 of 10 resided in the Flushing-Clearview neighborhoods. The Health Department is currently investigating if there is a common exposure route for these individuals.
Legionnaires' disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Legionella. It is found naturally in the environment and in man-made environments, usually in water. Legionnaires' disease can occur when people breathe in small droplets of water that contain the bacteria.
Each year, thousands of people in the United States are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease, a condition that can be fatal in some circumstances. Past outbreaks have been associated with hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, plumbing systems and decorative fountains.
Fortunately, most people exposed to the bacteria do not become ill, but some people are at greater risk of developing the disease. Those generally considered to be at higher risk include the elderly, current and former smokers, those with chronic lung disease, and those with a weak immune system due to other diseases or because of prescription drugs that suppress the immune system.
“When an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease occurs, it is important to be able to quickly identify the source of the Legionella to prevent others from becoming ill,” said Diane Miskowski, MPH, Legionella Program Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Our NYC Legionella testing lab provides all of the sampling supplies and offers several test methods. Culturing is considered the gold standard worldwide, but there are also PCR and DNA sequencing test methods for the rapid identification of the bacteria that can be instrumental during an outbreak.”
To learn more about Legionella and microbial pathogen testing services, please also visit www.LegionellaTesting.com or www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675. To contact Diane Miskowski directly, please call 1-800-220-3675 extension 2528.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.