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Legionnaires’ Disease Strikes in New $708M Government Headquarters in Hong Kong

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is an industry leader in Legionella testing


Authorities are now disinfecting Hong Kong’s Central Government Offices after testing in the offices indicated high levels of Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. Last month Education Secretary Michael Suen was hospitalized with the potentially deadly illness, and his diagnosis prompted the investigation. The expensive, brand new government compound was opened last August.
Traces of Legionella bacteria were found to be up to 14 times above acceptable levels, reports the BBC. Various sites in the complex have been tested, and the trouble spots have been identified as water taps inside the canteen kitchen and dining hall, as well as numerous toilets in the offices of high ranking officials.
“As this case demonstrates—and despite prevailing opinion—Legionella bacteria can be found even in new, high tech buildings and can cause serious health problems to those inside,” states Diane Miskowski, MPH, Business Development Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc.
“EMSL Analytical, Inc. conducts Legionella testing by both the culture method and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR),” she continues. “Clients can be assured of EMSL’s accuracy, as we have proudly passed the CDC Legionella Testing Proficiency Program in our Cinnaminson, NJ; Houston, TX; San Leandro, CA; and Manhattan laboratories.”
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious form of pneumonia that results in long term health effects or a flu-like illness called Pontiac Fever. Most individuals become infected by inhaling Legionella bacteria in the air; it is not spread from person to person. Contaminated mist or water vapor diffuse the bacteria in hot tubs, cooling towers, faucets, showerheads, and other water systems. A current or previous smoking habit, chronic lung disease, age (usually 50 years or older), and the use of certain rheumatoid arthritis and chemotherapy drugs can increase the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.
More information about Legionella can be found at In addition, EMSL has sponsored a public outreach video about the bacteria, which can be viewed at
To learn more about EMSL’s Legionella and other IAQ testing services, please visit, email, or call (800) 220-3675 x 2528.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal agencies. 


 Legionnaires’ disease

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