Vermont reports Legionnaires’ Disease cases in St. Albans area


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Vermont health officials Investigation report of a group of Legionnaires’ disease in Franklin County. Officials have identified five confirmed cases, including the death of a person in his 70s, but the source of the infection remains unknown.

Legionella bacteria
Photo / CDC

The cases, which were reported to the Department of Health between August 12 and 29, appear to be clustered in the St Albans area. Although no common source of infection has been found, officials said the overall risk to residents of St. Albans and Franklin County is very low, since most healthy people exposed to the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease do not get sick.

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. The bacteria can be found in natural freshwater environments, but they are generally not sufficient to cause disease. in water systems in buildings where water is stagnant, Legionella It can multiply and infect people if you breathe in mist or vapor containing the bacteria. Common sources of infection are large building air conditioning units (cooling towers), hot tubs, cooling sprinklers, decorative fountains or plumbing systems. Home air conditioning units do not use water for cooling, so it is not dangerous for them Legionella growth.

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Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and never spreads from person to person. People at increased risk of developing serious illness are those 50 years of age or older who are current or former smokers, have chronic lung disease, or have a weakened immune system. While most infected individuals will improve with antibiotic treatment, the disease can be fatal in about 1 in 10 people.

The Department of Health recommends that people who live or work in Franklin County contact a health care professional if they experience symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease. Symptoms usually begin 2 to 14 days after exposure, and can include cough, muscle aches, fever, shortness of breath, and headache.

The disease caused by Legionnaires’ disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics. But it can also lead to very serious illness, so it’s important to contact your doctor if you have symptoms,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. We also ask building owners to check their water systems and make sure they are properly maintained to help prevent It happens Legionella growth and transmission.

The Department of Health strongly recommends that owners and managers of commercial, office, hotel, and vacation rental buildings, as well as operators of public hot tubs and health care facilities, develop and maintain water management programs to prevent the growth and transmission of water. Legionella in their water systems.

Buildings with specific features — such as cooling towers, hot tubs, swimming pools, decorative water fountains, fire sprinkler systems, showers, and large complex plumbing systems — may need additional steps to keep these features clean and well-maintained.

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