What is Legionella?

What is Legionella?

Category : Environment

Image by CDC/James Gathany – CDC Public Health Image Library

Legionnaires’ disease or Legionellosis is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria wide spread in nature. Legionellosis is the name for a group of illnesses associated with legionella bacteria.

Legionella bacteria are found in low numbers in natural aquatic environments, for instance, lakes, rivers and ground water. As a result, it is virtually impossible to prevent Legionella bacteria entering man-made water systems. When the bacteria enter the water systems in the built environment, conditions can often encourage significant growth and reproduction to levels which can cause bacterial pneumonia and be fatal to humans.

The law require the landlord who rent out their property (or even a room within their own home) to ensure the health and safety of their tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards. Therefore it is a legal duty for landlords to assess and control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria, but Health and Safety law does not require landlords to produce or obtain, nor does HSE recognise, a ‘Legionnaires testing certificate’