How Legionella Affects Building Water Systems and People
- Internal and external factors can lead to Legionella growth in building water systems.
[Icons depicting construction, biofilm, and water temperature fluctuations as examples of internal and external factors that can lead to Legionella growth in building water systems.]
Legionella grows best in large, complex water systems that are not adequately maintained.
[Icons depicting a large building with cooling towers on top of it, a healthcare facility, and a cruise ship.]
- Water containing Legionella is aerosolized through devices.
[Icons depicting a cooling tower, shower, hot tub, and decorative fountain.]
- People can get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in mist or accidentally swallow water into the lungs containing Legionella. Those at increased risk are adults 50 years or older, current or former smokers, and people with a weakened immune system or chronic disease.
[Illustration of someone breathing in a mist containing Legionella.]
[logo] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Page last reviewed: April 30, 2018