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Legionella found in Quebec

Category Press Release
Publish Date 8/31/2015
Author Jennifer Mazonas
Title Quebec Affected by Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak
Introduction EMSL Analytical has 7 CDC ELITE proficient Legionella laboratories across North America.

Montreal, QC, August 31st, 2015

Since August 20th, health officials have confirmed 18 cases of Legionnaires’ disease, including two deaths in Berthierville, Quebec. Based on an article released by CBC News, it is believed that the cooling tower at the local skating arena may be the source of the outbreak. The city shut down the suspected source on August 22nd. With a 10 day incubation period, more cases are likely to be reported through early September. The outbreak in Berthierville is not the only occurrence of this disease in Quebec. In 2012, Quebec City reported 14 deaths related to Legionnaires’ disease.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused when contaminated droplets of waters are inhaled by humans. This can lead to fever, cough and respiratory issues. Legionella bacteria can be found in several water sources such as cooling towers, potable water systems, hot tubs, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, decorative fountains, and other similar water receptacles. For this reason, it is important to test water sources that could potentially harbor the bacteria.
“As soon as an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease occurs, it’s critical to quickly detect the source of the Legionella in order to prevent others from getting sick,” stated Diane Miskowski, MPH, Legionella Program Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Our Toronto 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, which allow for genetic fingerprinting where the environmental isolates and the clinical isolates can be compared. That allows us to rapidly identify a suspected source of the bacteria.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is on the frontline helping to prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease by identifying sources of the bacteria. Click here to request EMSL’s free Legionella Pocket Guide. To learn more about Legionella testing services or to request sampling supplies, please visit or, email or call (800) 220-3675.

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. 

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