To understand how to prevent Legionnaires disease, it is essential to first understand how the waterborne Legionella bacteria is able to get into the air and infiltrate our lungs.
Legionella bacteria enter the lungs held in fine droplets of water. Whenever water is turned into a mist, or ‘aerosoled’, any bacteria contained in the water will be inhaled into the lungs. Therefore, the only way to prevent infection from occurring is to ensure that the water does not contain legionella or other harmful organisms in the first place, as it is impossible to prevent aerosols from being created.
So where do we see aerosols in daily life?
The most obvious aerosol to the human eye can be seen in the shower. You would have noticed the mist forming in the air and probably thought nothing of it, but this phenomena actually occurs every time we are in contact with water. If you look closely the next time you are washing your hands in the bathroom sink you will see aerosoled droplets of water. Sobering as it may seem, even flushing the toilet will send droplets of water in to the air! More obscurely, hospital patients have died of Legionnaires disease from aerosols crated when sucking ice cubes containing the bacteria. When we think of Legionnaires disease we also think of cooling towers. It has been scientifically proven that people have contracted Legionnaires disease from cooling towers more than 3 kilometres away from them, while garden hoses, ornamental water features, spas, dental chairs and evaporative air conditioners have all been the source of Legionnaires disease in cases across the world.
Seeing as we cannot prevent the droplets being created, nor them drifting around in the environment, all we can do is ensure that the water contains no pathogens. As part of this, it is important to understand the relationship between Legionella and other organisms such as Pseudomonas. Many microorganisms co-host and interact with each other. Legionella and Pseudomonas are two perfect examples.
Legionnaires disease can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Leading health experts have suggested that there are many thousands of cases of Legionnaires disease that go unreported every year, in Australia alone. This clearly shows that the best method of preventing Legionnaires disease is to eliminate the Legionella bacteria within the water supply.
Copper Silver Ionisation is the most effective and safest method of controlling Legionella and preventing Legionnaires disease. After many years of dedicated research, Bion Systems have developed sophisticated, user friendly technology to deliver copper and silver into drinking water for protection against Legionella, Pseudomonas and other microorganisms.