16 de jul de 2015

Legionnaires disease from hot water cylinder results in amputations

Two people in Hawke's Bay have contracted Legionnaires disease from water in their own homes with one so badly afflicted she has had her feet amputated.
Now the District Health Board is warning people against turning down their hot water cylinders to save money.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board's medical officer of health Nicholas Jones said the woman, aged in her forties, was admitted to Hawke's Bay Hospital on June 16 and is still in intensive care. The other victim, a man in his eighties, was admitted in late April and discharged in early May.
Tests on the water in both victims' homes found the presence of legionella bacteria, which can cause legionellosis, also known as Legionnaires' disease, which is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia..
It is contracted by inhaling water in the form of vapour or steam containing the bacteria. 
Legionella bacteria can grow in water temperatures of 20-45degC. They thrive at tempertures of 32-44degC, but can't live at 60degC or higher.
Jones said the bacteria was found in the woman's hot water cylinder and in the man's water system, with his hot water cylinder a possible source.
He advised people to check their hot water cylinders were set to 60degC.
"We'd recommend you do not try to save money by turning your hot water cylinder temperature down because you will be running the risk of developing a severe illness in doing so," he said. 
He said the woman had been unwell for about four days before being taken to hospital.

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