Although cases where patients have contracted Legionnaires’ disease from air conditioning are rare, they do happen. The bacterium that causes the infection is known as Legionella Pneumophilia. This is commonly to be found in areas such as lakes, rivers, canals and streams. The disease spread by this contamination provokes symptoms that are very similar to the flu or pneumonia, including pronounced coughs, chills and fever, fatigue, headaches, sore muscles, and a loss of appetite. A lesser form of Legionnaires’ disease, known as Pontiac Fever, does not include all of these pneumonia-like symptoms.
The infection can be spread when air conditioning systems have been poorly designed. One of the most effective methods of ensuring that such a system does not give rise to the spread of the contaminant is for it to be fitted with an air-cooled refrigerant. This will make sure that water mist or aerosols commonly associated with water-based systems have very little prospect of harbouring lethal legionella bacteria. If you suspect that you are running an air conditioning system that may present a risk, seek urgent advice from experts.
Ways to prevent Legionnaires’ disease from air conditioning
Where there is an air conditioning system that is at high risk of harbouring contamination, the appropriate safeguards must be put in place by management. If the system is already contaminated, it is still possible to take preventative measures. This can include chlorination, ionisation and various heat treatments that are all designed to kill off the potentially lethal bacteria. The government has produced various guidelines about maintaining the safety of air conditioning systems, and it is the responsibility of management to ensure that these are enforced.
Have you considered redress?
Legionnaires’ disease can be very debilitating, but if the thought of looking into claiming compensation has ever crossed your mind, allow Accident Advice Helpline to ease some of your concerns. We have a team of compensation claims experts on hand who are experienced in investigating compensation for situations like this. You never know — your circumstances might well merit a no win no fee claim. In order to get the ball rolling, all you have to do is call our free hotline number on 0800 689 0500. Don’t delay any further — get onto the phone for some excellent no-obligation advice. You can also go to our website and try our 30-second claim calculator.
Date Published: May 11, 2015
Author: David Brown