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Last Year’s Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in Anaheim Leads to Cal-OSHA Fines

LA Testing offers PCR and traditional culturing methods to quickly and accurately identify the pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease to help prevent outbreaks.


Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE

In November of last year, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) announced that its office had been notified of a number of individuals diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. The infected people lived in or had visited the Anaheim area in the preceding months. A number of the sick people had visited a well-known amusement park in the area and several were employees of the park.

Almost a year later, the Los Angeles Times published an article detailing the aftermath of the outbreak investigation. According to their report, the company was fined more than $30,000 by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) for various violations, including its failure to properly clean cooling equipment. The proper maintenance of some types of cooling equipment, such as cooling towers, is essential for controlling the growth of Legionella bacteria, the cause of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. The diseases can occur when people breathe in small droplets of water that contain the bacteria.

"Legionella can be found naturally in the environment and in some manmade water sources,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Many past outbreaks have been associated with cooling towers. Other common sources include hot water tanks, plumbing systems, hot tubs and decorative fountains.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that many people exposed to Legionella do not become ill, but there are some groups that are at greater risk of becoming infected. The list includes people 50 years or older; current or former smokers; people with a chronic lung disease (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema); those with a weak immune system from diseases like cancer, diabetes or kidney failure; and people who take drugs that suppress the immune system.

Helping to identify the presence of Legionella to prevent outbreaks or to quickly pinpoint the source of the bacteria if an outbreak has already occurred are the scientists from LA Testing. Their laboratories offer rapid PCR and DNA sequencing test methods for Legionella from environmental samples, along with traditional culturing techniques and all of the sampling supplies necessary.

To learn more about Legionella or other aquatic and airborne pathogen testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email  info@LATesting.com  or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for environmental and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.


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 Legionella
 Legionnaires’ disease
 water test
 cooling equipment
 amusement park


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