Warning of legionnaires’ disease after lockdown eases

STROUD District Council’s environmental health team is contacting businesses that have been shut during the Coronavirus pandemic with advice on how to identify the risk of Legionella so they can safely re-open when Government guidance allows.


Simon Pickering, Stroud District Council’s chair of Environment Committee said: “Every business that has a water supply and has been closed must take action before re-opening.

“There is an increased risk in businesses that use aerosol forming equipment such as taps, showerheads and hoses which can produce water droplets small enough to be easily inhaled, for example hair dressers, gyms, sports clubs, camp sites and car wash operators.

“SDC’s officers are contacting businesses now to offer advice and support, and will be carrying out random sampling of water systems on business premises.”

Under the current government advice businesses including shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms and spas will be able to re-open from 12 April.

Any business operator, employer or person in control of a business premises has a legal duty to maintain its water systems and must take the right precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to legionella.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria that can be inhaled into the lungs via small droplets of water that are suspended in the air.

The bacteria forms when water has been allowed to stagnate and could affect hundreds of businesses across the Stroud district that were closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Everyone is susceptible to infection, with an increased risk in people over 45 years of age, those with underlying health conditions and smokers.

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