Could an Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease Occur in Puerto Rico?
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and monitoring services across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to identify microbial pathogens.
If cooling towers in Puerto Rico are not maintained and monitored, Legionella bacteria can grow and cause a similar outbreak.
The nation’s attention has been riveted by daily media reports about additional deaths and infections due to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City. So far, 12 people have died and 113 have reportedly developed the life-threatening infection in the South Bronx area.
The outbreak in New York is believed to be associated with contaminated cooling towers that harbor the Legionella bacteria. People can be exposed to the bacteria and become infected by breathing tiny water droplets from these cooling towers. State and city health officials have been busy inspecting New York’s cooling towers and have found a number that have already tested positive for the bacteria.
While much of the media attention has been focused on the outbreak in the South Bronx, there have been other outbreaks and reports of deaths and illnesses in other areas. In late spring, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued an alert about 10 cases that were diagnosed from April to May involving residents of Queens. A woman from the Cleveland area died earlier this month due to complications from Legionnaires’ disease and a man from the same general area survived an infection he contracted in June.
All of this has many people in Puerto Rico wondering if a similar outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease could occur there. “It absolutely could happen here,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “If cooling towers in Puerto Rico are not maintained and monitored, Legionella bacteria can grow and cause a similar outbreak. Cooling towers are not the only known reservoirs of the bacteria, past outbreaks across the world have been associated with hot tubs, hot water tanks, decorative fountains and even large plumbing systems in buildings.”
Helping to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean are the dedicated professionals at Zimmetry Environmental. Their experts provide water and air testing services to identify Legionella to help prevent outbreaks and to quickly identify the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred.
To learn more about Zimmetry’s Legionella or other air, environmental and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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