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POSSIBLE SOURCES OF LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE
Natural Bodies of Water
While it is possible for the disease to be contracted by ingesting water into the lungs from a local stream or lake, the more likely sources of contamination are man-made water systems.
Poorly Maintained Water Systems
The CDC states that Legionnaires’ disease does not transmit from person to person. Legionnaires’ disease can be spread due to poor maintenance of water systems, such as the faucets at work, or the water cooler in the breakroom. Even showers can spread the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. The disease starts when legionella—the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease—begin to colonize in the pipes, filter, or holding tank of a water system. Often, proper cleaning and chemical measures can prevent the bacteria from growing.
From 2000-2014, 34 percent of reported cases of Legionnaires’ Disease were found to be from a hospital water source, according to documentation from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. Those numbers break down into 19 percent for long-term care facilities and 15 percent for hospitals. This document was circulated to health institutions as part of an Idaho Department of Health & Welfare requirement to reduce the number of outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease from hospital sources.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Litster Frost Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you.
We start with a brief conversation that can help you and your family understand your legal rights and whether or not there is sufficient cause to seek damages. The process is fast and can provide valuable information that you might be able to use when making a decision about how to proceed with your claim.
It is possible to claim that negligence in water system maintenance led to the contracting of Legionnaires’ disease. In order to do so, our attorneys will need to be able to build evidence around the source of contamination.
Individuals involved in the case may have to help attorneys determine the time period in which they were likely exposed so that all water sources that they came into contact with during that time can be tested.
Further, a case must be made that negligence was involved and that the negligent party had a duty to protect the injured person(s).
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Health care facilities hold high-risk patients. Anyone with a weakened immune system—perhaps over the age of 50 or suffering a chronic disease—is especially vulnerable.