The Control Strategies of Legionnaires’ Disease in Public Places

Chih-Ming Wang, Chia-Yu Hsu, En-Tzu Wang, Ju-Hsin Chen, Ding-Ping Liu

2012 Vol.28 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Chih-Ming Wang


The Legionella spp. has become noticeable since severe outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease occurred in Philadelphia, US, 1976. Many countries also paid more attention to the prevention of Legionnaires' disease cluster in public places. In recent years, domestic epidemic of Legionnaires' disease occurred in hospitals, resorts, hotels and gyms as well. How to deal with epidemic in public places timely and properly is becoming an important topic with increasing social attention. In fact, most people exposed to Legionella spp. do not develop symptoms. Pneumonia caused by Legionella spp. is likely to be underestimated and treated as a common type pneumonia, and would miss the opportunity to detect the bacteria from environmental specimens after notification. In addition, if investigation is not prudent enough, it is difficult to discover cluster in public places and identify high-risk pathogenic environment, thus people can not be protected from the threat of Legionnaires' disease. However, if epidemic prevention personnel are familiar with various prevention measures and understand the causes of Legionnaires' disease, and has the concept of high-risk environment and prevention purposes, then they will be able to make the right judgment and arrangement when deal with the epidemic; improve the detection rate and identify potential high-risk environment. Provide guidance for business premises with idea of “self-management” to strengthen the cleaning and disinfection of water installation, as well as water supply system and central air-conditioning cooling towers, is the fundamental way to prevent and control the Legionnaires’ disease. It can certainly protect people from the hazard of Legionella spp. and guarantee citizens’ health and welfare through community epidemic monitoring, notification, appropriate management of cases, careful epidemic investigation, appropriate administrative control soon after the source of infection determined, proceed environmental specimen collection, disinfection, and follow-up assistance.