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Source of Legionella outbreak in Quebec located: Cooling tower

We’ve posted in the past about various Legionella outbreaks including the one in Chicago, the one in Edinborough, and of course the one in the Playboy Mansion.   For some reason we didn’t talk about the recent lethal outbreak in Quebec.  You can read about it here.

The latest update is that the source of Legionella was a rooftop cooling tower.  These are common sources of Legionella and it sounds like in this care there were insufficient mitigation measures undertaken before the outbreak occurred.

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David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

One thought on “Source of Legionella outbreak in Quebec located: Cooling tower

  1. The Quebec City Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak death toll had reached 13 and the number of cases “nearly 170” according to the CBC’s web site story posted on September 19th (the second link — http://networkedblogs.com/Cse4J– in David Coil’s September 21st post above).

    Making this all the more tragic is that methods for prevention are well-known, as the CBC story points out. It is also worth noting that the several incidents reported recently on the microBEnet blog have occurred in the mid- to late-summer, all in locations where air-conditioning is not used year round due to local climate. So one might conclude that risks seem to rise as the air-conditioning season progresses. Another hint, then, about prevention is that it should occur more intensely in the summer months as well as during the start up period for systems that are shut down in the fall in colder winter climate areas.

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