Legionella bacteria grow spontaneously in the environment. Artificial water systems can create environments favorable for high numbers of Legionella bacteria.
Risky environments for the growth of Legionella bacteria:
- hot and cold water systems and tanks
- baths, spa pools, swimming pools and thermal spas
- Pipes with little or no water
- Showers, shower heads and taps
- Garden watering systems
- Central air conditioners, fire hoses
- decorative pools and fountains
How does Legionella bacteria spread to humans?
There are two main reasons for the transmission of bacteria,
According to the first, the bacteria first settles in the upper respiratory system and reaches the lungs.
According to the latter, as the water becomes small water droplets (aerosol) and hangs in the air, these droplets containing the bacteria reach the lung by breathing.
Any contact with water containing legionella does not cause health problems. Legionella-containing water (for example, when taking a shower, in air-conditioning systems, in whirlpools) can be drawn into the lungs while breathing, which can lead to infection.
In healthy individuals with normal immune systems, infection is often not developed even if the bacteria have passed on to humans. In order for the disease to occur, the individual must have some risk factors. The most important risk factors are the effects that weaken the individual's respiratory resistance or overall body resistance.
Elderly and smokers with low body resistance are at risk. And high level of this bacterium can be fatal.
Legionella hotels, shopping malls and hospitals with closed ventilation systems are risky areas. Legionella analyzes should be performed regularly in these places.
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