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Resources to Help Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever in Puerto Rico

Zimmetry Environmental provides environmental and infection control testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to Legionella and other pathogens.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Water containing Legionella can spread in droplets small enough for people to inhale and about 1 in 10 who get sick from Legionnaires’ disease die.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes Legionnaires’ disease as a serious type of pneumonia caused by a type of bacteria known as Legionella. The bacteria can also cause Pontiac fever, a less serious illness.

While the bacteria can be found naturally in freshwater environments, it becomes a health concern if it grows and spreads in man-made water systems. This is due to the fact that water containing Legionella can spread in droplets small enough for people to inhale and about 1 in 10 who get sick from Legionnaires’ disease die. CDC also reports that less commonly, people can get sick by aspiration of drinking water containing Legionella.

Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but the CDC warns people at increased risk include:

  • People 50 years or older
  • Current or former smokers
  • Those with a chronic lung disease (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema)
  • People with weak immune systems or who take drugs that weaken the immune system (like after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
  • Those with cancer
  • People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure or liver failure

“In addition to large building water systems, other sources of Legionella may include hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, decorative fountains and even cisterns,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Just a year ago, there were multiple cases of the disease on the U.S. Virgin Islands believed to be linked to the use of cisterns. Another concern regarding sources of Legionella exposure in the Caribbean are water systems on boats and cruise ships. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to an executive from a cruise line warning of the discovery of the bacteria in potable water systems on the company’s vessels.”

In Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean, the industrial hygiene, infection control and building science professionals at Zimmetry Environmental offer Legionella testing and consulting services. These services are a vital part of a proactive plan to prevent new cases of this deadly disease or to quickly identify the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred. Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease that can be seen at:

To learn more about Zimmetry’s water, air, environmental, occupational, and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .

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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 Puerto Rico
 Industrial Hygiene
 Legionnaires’ Disease
 Water Testing

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