There are around 6,000 Legionnaires' disease cases are reported each year in the United States. However, scientists believe the reported totals are much lower than the actual cases due in part to the difficulty in distinguishing Legionnaires' disease from other types of pneumonia. The most recent U.S. population-based study estimated that 8,000-18,000 people are hospitalized each year with Legionnaires' disease, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Additionally, about one in 10 people who get sick from Legionnaires’ disease will die, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There is no vaccination to prevent Legionnaires’ disease, therefore, the best way to control the spread is to prevent the growth of Legionella pneumophila in plumbing systems.

There are a number of best practice strategies in the plumbing industry for implementing risk assessments and Water Management Programs. Plumbing & Mechanical and PM Engineer Chief Editor Nicole Krawcke sits down with Legionella expert Dr. Janet Stout, PhD, executive vice president and founder of Special Pathogens Laboratory, and research associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to discuss best practices for Legionella prevention and mitigation.

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