Washington DC– According to Thurston County Health Department the Super 8 Motel in Lacey, WA announced Thursday it has voluntarily closed due to an outbreak investigation of Legionnaires’ disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that Legionnaires’ disease is on the rise, increasing by 217 percent in the last decade – or 18,000 to 20,000 cases annually in the United States. However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher.
Within the past month, three cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed with possible connection to the motel.
Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with bacteria. Symptoms include coughs, fever, chills and respiratory problems. The deadly bacteria grows in the stagnant water of cooling systems and spreads in little droplets through air conditioning.
Dr. Rajiv Sahay, director of laboratory services at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) a CDC ELITE lab stated “as a result of our CDC ELITE credentials our clients are assured of the highest accuracy scientifically available.” Dr. Sahay further stated that “we look forward to continuing to work with many facilities staff in helping them build a strong proactive Legionella program for their facilities and the occupants they serve.”
ASHRAE’s new legionellosis standard has now been adopted after five years of its first draft release. The new ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, addresses the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.Under ASHRAE’s new standard, facility managers are charged with conducting an annual survey to determine what risk is present in their buildings.
Specific risk factors called out in the standard include:
- Multiple housing units with one or more centralized water heaters
- More than 10 stories (including levels below grade)
- Cooling tower or evaporative condenser
- One or more whirlpools or spas within or adjacent to building
- Devices that release aerosols (e.g., ornamental fountains, misters, air washers or humidifiers)
- Incoming potable water containing less than 0.5 ppm residual halogen such as chlorine
- Inpatient health care facility
- Occupants primarily older than age 65
- Occupants receiving chemotherapy for cancer or bone marrow transplantation.
Francisco Aguirre, Director of Building Sciences at Pure Air Control Services stated “Legionella is found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in cooling towers, hot water tanks, plumbing systems, decorative fountains, HVAC systems and hot tubs.’
For more information on developing a Proactive Legionella Testing Program or a Legionella Risk Assessment & Monitoring Plan for your buildings call the Building Scientists at Pure Air Control Services or go to: Environmental Diagnostics laboratory (EDlab) Edlab.org, a CDC ELITE laboratory (contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay 1-800-422-7873 ext 303 or Alan ext 802). DIY Legionella kits are available at: www.INDOORAIRTEST.com and other fine retailers.
About Pure Air Control Services, Inc.
Pure Air Control Services nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; EDLab a CDC ELITE accredited Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning, HVAC system cleaning and Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was founded in 1984 as a small mechanical contracting firm. Today, the firm sets the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis and remediation.
The company’s expanding client roster includes the Jones, Lang LaSalle (JLL), FAA, General Services Administration (GSA); Allstate Insurance; CBRE, Carrier Air Conditioning; NAVFAC, DOT, USACE, US Army, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air Control Services the reliable industry leader.
For more information on Pure Air Control Services, Inc. please contact Alan Wozniak or Dr Rajiv Sahay (800) 422-7873 ext 802 or 303 respectively.