Legionella Outbreak in Argentina

Ross Williams 2020

Ross Williams
Consultant, Assurity Consulting
24th October 2022

From the 3rd of September, 11 cases had been identified and 4 deaths recorded. Legionella bacteria was identified as the causative organism in all of the cases which were sampled. At the time of writing, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy stated there is a total of 19 cases, sadly, with 6 fatalities.

From the 11 cases that the WHO wrote about in their statement, all have connections to the healthcare facility. 8 of the 11 cases involved healthcare workers and the other 3 involved were patients within the facility.

Of the 4 deaths, 3 were healthcare workers. At the time of writing, no secondary infections have been the cause of the deaths. The source of the bacteria has yet to be identified.

Whilst this outbreak is on a different continent, the reality of an outbreak involving Legionella causing fatalities is a terrible concept. These outbreaks remind us of the importance of actively and effectively managing Legionella bacteria. Here are questions you may want to consider:

  • Has your Legionella risk assessment been checked and reviewed recently, in order to keep it relevant to your building’s operation?
  • Have any changes in your water system(s) been accounted for in your written scheme and Legionella risk assessment?
  • Do all key personnel have up to date training records, and have any new members of staff had relevant training?
  • Are your records indicating any areas of any water system to be regularly identifying out of parameter results? What is being done about these?
  • Do the roles and responsibilities for your building water management accurately reflect the current situation?

If you need any support with your Legionella management, please get in touch.