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Precautions Taken After Resident of a Retirement Home Contracts Legionnaires’ Disease

EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers PCR and traditional culturing methods to quickly and accurately identify the pathogen the causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Beltsville, MD – WEBWIRE

Recently, low levels of Legionella bacteria were discovered in a retirement center’s water system after a resident contracted Legionnaires’ disease. Immediate actions were taken to decontaminate the building’s water source and it has officially been deemed safe to drink.

Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, is caused by an infection of the lungs due to Legionella. Symptoms for Legionnaires’ disease may include fever, extreme fatigue, chills, coughing, diarrhea and/or cognitive impairment. Legionella is found naturally in the environment and in man-made environments, most often in water. Past outbreaks have been associated with cooling towers, water fountains, hot tubs and plumbing systems. This form of bacteria can be contracted when inhaled, also known as aspirated.

“When there is a potential outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, it is important to begin remediation efforts as soon as possible to prevent any other individuals from falling ill,” said Christopher Goulah, Ph.D., Legionella Technical Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Legionnaires’ disease is commonly connected to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Therefore, when a nursing home is in question of having unsafe water due to Legionella, the results could be fatal.”

EMSL has 16 CDC ELITE laboratories throughout the United States and Canada that are even equipped to handle large projects caused by Legionella outbreaks. The laboratories provide Culture Testing, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Sequence-Based Typing and Whole Genome Sequencing. For more information about the difference between culture and molecular testing, please contact Christopher Goulah, Ph.D., at (716) 651-0030 extension 1407.

EMSL created a Legionella Pocket Guide that has detailed information about the bacteria and sampling techniques. To request a free copy, please click here.

For more information about EMSL’s Legionella testing capabilities, please visit To view a complete list of the laboratory locations, accreditations and capabilities, please visit For more information about EMSL’s laboratory services, please email  or call 1-800-220-36705.  

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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