Date Sent: 04/15/2016 11:19 AM EDT
Sender: Michigan Health Alert Network
Subject: Water Management Planning to Reduce Risk of Legionella Transmission
As we enter warmer summer months, now is a great time to remind ourselves that we are also entering the time of year for increased risk of Legionella infections. Legionella can make people sick when they inhale contaminated water from poorly maintained building water systems. Unfortunately, Legionnaires' disease is on the rise in the United States. To reverse this trend, we are asking for your help to make sure building water is safe from Legionella. During the past year, new guidance was developed to support water management programs that can help direct building managers in identifying areas in their buildings where Legionella might grow or spread to people so that they can reduce that risk. The industry standard for Legionella water management in the United States is available (ASHRAE 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems June 26, 2015. ASHRAE: Atlanta). To help guide the implementation of these programs, staff from the Legionella team at CDC worked with staff from the MDHHS and the Genesee County Health Department to produce a toolkit. The toolkit an be found posted in the "Alert Details" folder of the MIHAN Document Library. This toolkit will help in the development and implementation of water management programs to reduce building risk for growing and spreading Legionella. Included are practical resources to help ensure that every water management program is comprehensive, effective, and in line with industry standards. This toolkit also highlights special considerations for healthcare facilities. If you confirm that your facility meets the definition of "increased risk", please share this toolkit with building management. Buildings that should have a water management program include healthcare facilities where patients stay overnight or house or treat people with chronic and acute medical problems or weakened immune systems, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, hotels, and buildings of more than 10 stories. Water management programs are also appropriate for some devices, including cooling towers, decorative fountains, some hot tubs and centrally installed humidifiers (Single family homes and small multiple family residences do NOT need water management programs. In the near future, you can expect to see some additional guidance around these environments). This toolkit will help your building managers develop and implement a water management program to reduce your building's risk for growing and spreading Legionella and help keep your communities safer. This is a newly developed document and CDC is interested in hearing your comments. Feedback on this toolkit can be provided by emailing RDB@cdc.gov. For additional information about Legionnaires' disease, visit www.cdc.gov/legionella Note: Please keep in mind that this is a large document and the download from the MIHAN library may take several minutes to complete.