Holbrook, NY, August 07, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- The recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in the South Bronx, NY has prompted city officials to demand updated inspection systems. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is driving a campaign for legislation that would create a citywide inspection system to test building water infrastructure for the disease.
“As the scope and depth of the outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in the South Bronx came into focus last week, I proposed new legislation that would allow the city to be proactive—and not reactive—to such outbreaks. Together, with Council Member Vanessa Gibson, we are introducing legislation creating an inspection mechanism for those systems where Legionnaires' Disease can thrive and to ensure appropriate follow-up inspections so that the disease does not return.
“It is the responsibility of government to protect the health and well-being of the public, and this common sense proposal will help do just that. It cannot be forgotten that seven Bronx residents have died during this outbreak. An appropriate inspection mechanism could have saved lives,” Diaz said in a statement.
Infection control officers for hospitals and long-term healthcare facilities, as well as facilities engineers should be aware of Legionella Species ecology, when to engage a Legionella expert for sampling, and methods for treating infected systems.
In selecting the right provider for environmental evaluation, water sampling and analysis, you must be sure that they have expertise in Legionella, and work with a lab that is specially approved for testing of Legionella bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) created the CDC Elite program so that laboratories can test their Legionella isolation techniques against standardized samples.
Dr. Charles Gilbert, Ph.D, M.S. runs the United Alliance Services Corporation Epidemiology and Toxicology Institute, LLC. He is an epidemiologist and toxicologist with expertise in occupational and environmental health, and can provide clients with expert level testing for Legionella bacteria.
“Hospital-acquired outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease occur worldwide and seem to be increasing in frequency. Legionnaires' disease can lead to a number of life-threatening complications, including: respiratory failure, septic shock, acute kidney failure and neurologic signs and symptoms. Routine environmental culturing of hospital water even without identified cases is proactive management to prevent hospital-acquired Legionnaires’ disease.
“It is important that infection control professionals take the lead in choosing and evaluating the disinfection techniques. Proactive measures including routine environmental cultures of hospital water, and disinfection techniques promote effective prevention of hospital-acquired Legionella infection,” Dr. Gilbert said.
Periodic testing and sampling of systems that have previously tested positive for significant numbers of Legionella bacteria is imperative, even after having had remediation for Legionella bacteria, in order to ensure that there has not been new growth of the bacteria in the system.
Legionella bacteria was found in five buildings which included Concourse Plaza on 161st Street and Lincoln Hospital. New York City Health Department is investigating the source of the outbreak and is testing more than 20 cooling towers in the South Bronx.
About United Alliance Services:
United Alliance Services is a Woman’s Business Enterprise (WBE) -certified small business providing workplace safety training and consulting in order to promote safe employee environments. The company’s primary focus is on best practice as well as federal and state OSHA compliance, with experience extending to all areas of the construction, industrial, maritime and medical industries.