CDC: Most cases of Legionnaires caused by potable water

EMSL Analytical operated testing labs to prevent outbreaks of the disease.

Legionella pneumophila. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
Legionella pneumophila. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

NEW YORK, NY, DECEMBER 8, 2016 -- Legionnaires' disease is a very serious form of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria. Those who have weakened immune systems are the most at risk of getting the disease. Symptoms for Legionnaires' disease may include fever, extreme fatigue, chills, coughing, diarrhea and/or cognitive impairment. It is not contagious, but it can be contracted when people breathe in aerosolized water that contains Legionella.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 56% of Legionnaires' outbreaks between 2000 and 2014 have been caused by potable water," said Diane Miskowski, MPH, National Legionella Program Manager at EMSL Analytical Inc. "Along with potable water as the main source of outbreaks, the CDC also reported that 22% of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks stem from cooling towers, 7% from hot tubs and another 4% from decorative fountains. Cases associated with building potable water systems have a different outbreak pattern compared to those associated with cooling towers. Potable water sources cause sporadic, isolated cases that occur over many months or even years. Cases associated with cooling towers result in many people getting the illness over several weeks."

To help identify the source of Legionella outbreaks, EMSL as a nationwide network of CDC ELITE and NYDOH ELAP accredited Legionella testing laboratories provides culture-based testing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), sequence-based typing and whole genome sequencing analysis. To view a complete list of EMSL's Legionella laboratory locations, accreditations and capabilities, visit For more information, please contact our Customer Service Center at (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical Inc.
EMSL Analytical Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC's, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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