Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Cause of Legionnaires' disease outbreak determined

December 10, 2009
VERNON HILLS, IL — The source of an outbreak of Legionnaires'' disease responsible for two deaths and seven hospitalizations at a retirement community has been identified as contaminated pool and spa water, according to the Vernon Hills Review.
After tests at The Park at Vernon Hills came back positive for Legionella bacteria, environmental consulting firm EBSol Inc. — a company specializing in Legionella detection — was brought in to help determine the cause of the outbreak and come up with a remediation plan, the story stated.
Melaney Arnold, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said: "We did find the Legionella bacteria at the facility and right now the environmental consultant the facility hired is working on a remediation plan. [The pool, spa and rainforest area in the atrium of the facility] will not be allowed to open again until we get two consecutive negative test samples for Legionella. In a situation like this, proper maintenance of pools and spa areas is very important."
Bio-Incident Management Services was contracted to clean and disinfect the pool and other water features where contaminated water was found, the story noted.
The Park at Vernon Hills, which hopes to have the affected areas completely disinfected and opened within the next few weeks, is keeping residents apprised to the latest developments with frequent updates, the story added.
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