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Legionnaires’ Disease Attorney | Hotel, Hospital and Spa Liability

Legionnaires’ Disease Attorney | Hotel, Hospital and Spa Liability Legionnaires’ disease, also called legionellosis is a dangerous, and even deadly form of pneumonia that is contracted through mist or water vapor in the atmosphere.  Caused by a bacteria known as Legionella, legionnaires’ disease affects roughly 12,000 to 18,000 annually, and has an incredibly high mortality rate, with estimates as high as forty percent.  However, these numbers probably fail to account for the disease’s true reach, as most cases are either never exposed, or are misdiagnosed as pneumonia.  This is because victims of legionnaire’s disease share the same symptoms as pneumonia, including:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomit
  • No appetite
  • Fatigue, loss of energy or shortness of breath
These symptoms generally develop within 2 to 14 days after exposure to the legionellae bacteria, and are especially toxic to individuals over the age of 65, smokers, and those with weakened immune systems.

How Did I Get Legionnaires’ Disease?

Unlike many other bacterial diseases, legionnaires’ disease cannot be spread through person-to-person contact.  Instead, it is spread through environments with warm water conduits that give off water vapors or mist.  This mist can come from:
  • Showers
  • Hot tubs
  • Air conditioning units and cooling towers
  • Whirlpool spas
  • Water used for drinking and bathing
Commonly, people have contracted legionnaires’ disease after staying at hotels, hospitals or spas that are infected with the dangerous bacteria.

Legionnaires’ Disease Attorney

People staying in hotels, hospitals or spas are owed a duty of care.  This duty include maintaining biological bacteria such as legionellae, in cooling towers hot water and other aerosolizing water structures.  Often times, these facilities fail to properly maintain a clean and healthy environment, leading to the spread of the legionellae bacteria. They are required to test their water and plumbing systems for bacteria. Guests staying at hotels and facilities who have experienced symptoms of legionnaires’ disease are urged to get themselves checked by a medical professional immediately.  If caught early, the disease can be treated with antibiotics such as Erythromycin or Azithromycin. Our attorneys have been successful at holding facilities and hospitals accountable for their failure to maintain a safe premises and exposing their clients to dangers such as Legionnaires’ disease.  Contact  us to speak to an attorney immediately.

COMMENTS (1)
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Legionella is a management isuess and while knowing the symptoms of the disease is one thing (they are quite general and can be attributable to a host of other causes), stopping it getting that far in the first place is the key.The HSE (formerly HSC) Legionnaires’ disease — the control of legionella bacteria in water systems Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (L8) applies to any undertaking involving a work activity and to premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertaking where water is used or stored and where there is a means of creating and transmitting water droplets which may be inhaled As previously stated a risk assessment is the first step, followed, where required, by the introduction and implementation of a written scheme of management and control. It is also important to note that the disease is not transmitted from person to person, but by breathing in contaminated water droplets.Unfortunately while this advice has been in existence for over 20 years, poor quality risk assessments, ineffective management and a failure to understand their responsibilities, by those with the duty holding still cause problems.Also not mentioned above is the risks associated with spa baths (the cause of the Stoke on Trent outbreak which started in July 2012).The risk associated with legionella can be controlled, but it does require ongoing understanding and effort from the duty holder as well as competent support. Together with the UKAS and external QA schemes currently in place for testing labs, there is now a new legionella risk assessment standard out (BS 8580) for which organisations can also be accredited.

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