New CDC Vital Signs report: Legionnaires’ disease on the rise

On release of the report, CDC says Infection preventionists are key to preventing Legionnaires’ disease and responding to outbreaks. The Agency’s latest Vital Signs finds hotels, long-term care facilities, and hospitals are the most common places for Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. CDC has made new tools and information available for IPs to help healthcare facility, hospital administrators, and managers carry out Legionella water management programs based on newly published standards. 

CDC reports that cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the US grew by nearly 4 times from 2000 through 2014. The Agency’s investigations of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks show that about 9 in 10 were caused by problems that could have been prevented with more effective water management. Environmental assessments conducted as part of these investigations show that outbreaks of this disease are due to common problems, such as human errors like not properly cleaning a hot tub filter or changes in water quality caused by external factors like nearby construction. 

CDC calls on Infection preventionists whose buildings house people 50 years or older or who have chronic lung conditions or weakened immune systems should work with their healthcare facility, hospital administrators, and managers to determine how their building(s) is at increased risk for Legionella growth and spread. Explore CDC’s new Vital Signs on preventing Legionnaires’ disease, including a toolkit for developing a Legionella water management program, infographic fact sheet, and more.