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Legionnaires’ Disease Resources for Environmental Health Professionals

Sampling and testing materials kit.

Did you know that Legionella bacteria causes more than half of waterborne disease outbreaks?

Preventing Legionnaires’ disease requires understanding the environmental factors that allow Legionella bacteria to survive and reach a susceptible host. Environmental health practitioners have essential expertise to both respond to Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and prevent future ones.

Environmental health response in Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks contributes to improved prevention practices. In an outbreak setting, environmental health practitioners

  • Work with epidemiologists and public health laboratorians to understand the situation and
  • Apply environmental interventions to stop the outbreak.

After an outbreak response, practitioners can help translate lessons learned into evidence-based prevention guidance for building owners and managers.

Explore these CDC resources for environmental health professionals:

Photo of a doctor showing a patient an ex-ray of her lungs.

CDC Vital Signs on Legionnaires’ Disease: A Problem for Health Care Facilities – Explore CDC’s 2017 report and resources, including a practical guide, infographic, fact sheet, podcasts, and more.

Vital Signs: Health Care–Associated Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Data from 20 States and a Large Metropolitan Area — United States, 2015 – Read CDC’s 2017 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) to learn how effective water management programs could prevent the growth of Legionella in building water systems.

CDC Vital Signs on Legionnaires’ Disease: Use Water Management Programs in Buildings To Help Prevent Outbreaks

CDC Vital Signs on Legionnaires’ Disease: Use Water Management Programs in Buildings To Help Prevent Outbreaks – Review CDC’s 2016 report and resources, including a practical guide, infographic, fact sheet, podcasts, and more.

Vital Signs: Deficiencies in Environmental Control Identified in Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease — North America, 2000–2014 – Read CDC’s MMWR on the increase in Legionnaires’ disease, causes, and prevention opportunities.

Developing a Water Management Program To Reduce Legionella Growth & Spread in Buildings: A Practical Guide To Implementing Industry Standards – Develop and implement a water management program to reduce a building’s risk for growing and spreading Legionella.

Water System Maintenance – Review information on maintaining building water and recreational water systems for preventing disease.

Photo shows people taking water samples from a hot tub.

Environmental Investigation Tools – Investigate legionellosis outbreaks with these resources, including an environmental assessment form and sampling procedures.

Environmental Investigation Videos – Watch instructional videos that explain Legionella ecology, environmental assessments, and sampling techniques.

Photo of the We Were There logo featuring Legionnaires Disease.

History, Mystery, and Discovery: 40 Years of Legionnaires’ Disease – View this CDC webinar to hear scientists discuss experiences from early investigations, how they solved the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City, and more.

PreventLD Training

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease: A Training on Legionella Water Management Programs (PreventLD Training) – Learn to create a water management program to reduce risk for Legionnaires’ disease.

Cover image of the Journal of Environmental Health.

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease: Environmental Health Expertise Is Key [PDF – 472 KB] – Explore the role of environmental health professionals in preventing and responding to Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak at a Long-Term Care Facility in Ohio, 2013 [PDF – 688 KB] – Learn about an outbreak investigation implicating a cooling tower that used an automated biocide delivery system.

Photo of an outdoor HVAC air conditioner unit located on a high-floor porch of a New York skyscraper.

A Large Community Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease Associated With a Cooling Tower in New York City, 2015 – Read this report about an outbreak in an NYC cooling tower in 2015.

Overview photo of a hot tub.

Reducing Legionnaires’ Disease in Public Spas [PDF – 117 KB] – Discover how CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code offers critical guidance for reducing the risk of Legionnaires’ disease in public aquatic facilities.

For more information and resources, visit CDC’s comprehensive Legionella (Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever) website.