National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland, 2009
Legionellosis is a disease comprising two distinct clinical entities: pontiac fever, a mild self-limiting influenza-like illness, and legionnaires’ disease a more serious and potentially fatal form of the illness, characterised by pneumonia. Legionellosis is caused by Legionella bacteria which are ubiquitous in nature and can be found naturally in environmental water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
From there the organism can pass into sites that constitute artificial reservoirs such as water distributions systems in towns and cities. Outbreaks of legionnaires’ disease have the potential to cause high levels of morbidity and mortality in those exposed.
The recommendations in these guidelines are based on a review of international literature and an extensive consultation process with relevant professionals.