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Legionella Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/18/2022
Author Paul Cochrane
Title IDPH Investigates Cluster of Legionnaires’ Disease in Cook County
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides rapid PCR and traditional culturing methods to identify Legionella, the microbial pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever, from environmental samples.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, October 18th, 2022 

Earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it was working with the Stickney Public Health District to investigate a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Burbank, Illinois. Three cases of the disease have reportedly been epidemiologically linked, and one case was geographically linked, to a church in Burbank. IDPH inspected the church and collected samples that detected the presence of Legionella in the building’s cooling tower. 

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by bacteria known as Legionella. While the bacteria can be found naturally in the environment, typically in water, some manmade sources can also provide an ideal environment for the bacteria to multiply. It has been detected in cooling towers, potable water systems, hot tubs, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and even decorative fountains. If a person inhales contaminated water from a building water system that is not adequately maintained, they could become infected. 

“According to IDPH, there were 552 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Illinois last year alone,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “For 2022, there have already been 227 confirmed cases. It’s not too surprising that IDPH reported the cooling tower tested positive for Legionella. Several years back, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the results of a study examining the prevalence of the bacteria in cooling towers located across the country. CDC found that 84% of the 196 cooling towers tested for Legionella DNA came back positive. Viable Legionella was confirmed in approximately 40% of the cooling towers. This is why proactive testing of cooling towers and other water sources can be so instrumental in assessing water management programs and exposure threats.” 

With a laboratory in the Chicago area, and dozens more across the United States and Canada, EMSL Analytical offers Legionella testing of environmental samples. Their scientists provide traditional culturing methods as well as rapid PCR and Whole Genome Sequencing test methods. A number of their laboratories have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from its Elite Program for Legionella testing and some are also NYSDOH ELAP Legionella certified. 

To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit www.LegionellaTesting.com or www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675. 

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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