Our tenants' safety is one of our main priorities. In this blog, we will introduce you to "Legionella" and tell you what we are doing to prevent it from entering our Houses.
What are Legionella?
Legionella are bacteria that cause various clinical illnesses in humans, from flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia. They are globally spread environmental germs, which in small numbers are natural components of surface and ground water. Legionella reproduce best at temperatures between 25 °C and 45 °C. Above 60 °C they are usually killed off and below 20 °C they hardly reproduce at all. Especially in artificial water systems such as water pipes in buildings the pathogens find good growth conditions at appropriate temperatures. Legionella can multiply particularly well in deposits and coatings of the pipe system.
Why is regular flushing during absence important?
The regular (at least twice a week) standardised flushing of the water tapping points (taps, showers, e.g.) prevents water stagnation and the potential health hazard of legionella. However, there is no danger during normal use of your rented apartment.
What types of diseases can cause Legionella?
Legionella can cause two different diseases:
- Legionnaire’s disease / Legionella pneumonia is a form of pneumonia. It can manifest itself by coughing, chills, headaches, severe illness and high fever. It can also lead to diarrhoea or confusion. Untreated or incorrectly treated pneumonia is often severe, with good chances of recovery if treated correctly. 2 to 10 days after contact with the pathogen, the first symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease appear.
- Pontiac fever: Another not well understood disease, also caused by Legionella, is the so-called Pontiac fever. It manifests itself in flu-like symptoms such as fever, malaise, headache and aching limbs, but not in pneumonia. The disease usually heals by itself within a week. Between the infection and the outbreak of Pontiac fever there are 5 hours to almost 3 days, on average 1 to 2 days.
How are Legionella transmitted? How can one be infected with Legionella?
The pathogens are transmitted by atomized, nebulized water. The pathogen-containing droplets can spread in the air and be inhaled. This means that there is only a risk of infection when water containing the pathogen reaches the lungs via the windpipe. Possible sources of infection include showers, whirlpools, humidifiers or taps. There are also many other possible sources of infection. In rare cases, infection is possible when drinking water that accidentally enters the lungs via the windpipe when swallowed. Important: Legionella are not transmitted from person to person.
What else can you do to reduce the risk of infection?
Sediments of chalk and corrosion particles favour the growth of microorganisms. For this reason, shower heads and hoses as well as aerators should be decalcified regularly, e.g. with diluted vinegar essence.
During longer periods of absence (holidays, business trips, e.g.) the water pipes in the apartment must be flushed regularly (twice a week) so that no water standstill occurs in the pipes and thus legionella reproduction is prevented. If the tenant is absent, this must be ensured by the 3rd person.
How THE FIZZ and FIZZies are dealing with it?
FIZZies are informed and aware that he/she is responsible for regular hygienic flushing of the water points (taps, showers, e.g.) in the apartment. In case of absence, they can register themselves to the house management to include them in our hygienic plan, which is regularly carried out by one of our trustworthy staff on site.
Live long and prosper ✌️