Strategies to combat Legionnaires’ disease – Outbreak investigation and preventive policy
The NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series provides an opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange on a variety of environmental health topics. The seminars can be attended in-person or online.
Presenters: Mark McCabe, Fraser Health Authority; Christopher Radziminski and Phillip White, City of Vancouver
Presentation 1: Investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease from cooling towers in Surrey, BC
In August 2018, Fraser Health detected an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Surrey, BC. We employed traditional and novel strategies for identifying and stopping the source, and ultimately, were able to implicate a specific cooling tower as a source of the outbreak. This presentation describes the story of our investigation, the tools and strategies we employed, and key challenges and considerations we faced.
Presentation 2: Driving down Legionella risk in the City of Vancouver
This year, Vancouver is implementing mandatory operating permits for cooling towers, decorative water features and other building water systems to assist health authorities with Legionella investigations. Additionally, the City is finalizing preventive policies for these mechanical systems — including mandatory Legionella testing and reporting, and a new operator certification — and policies for special events. This presentation will summarize the regulations in place and the proposals for January 1, 2021.