April 2021 Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 83, Number 8)
Editor's Note: The National Environmental Health Association strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease: Frontline Tools for Environmental Health Practitioners
Benjamin Clopper, MPH, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
CDR Jasen Kunz, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Elizabeth Hannapel, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Environmental health practitioners play a critical role in the prevention, identification, and mitigation of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. Over the last 20 years, Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks have increased significantly and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to learn about the disease and how to prevent it. For example, CDC investigations show almost all (9 in 10) Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks were caused by problems preventable with more effective building water management. Water management programs have become an important industry standard and are now required in healthcare facilities nationwide.
This month’s column highlights updated and new resources for preventing Legionnaires’ disease for environmental health practitioners. These tools include updated guidance on preventing Legionella in water systems and devices, a new toolkit for controlling Legionella in common sources of exposure, and an updated Legionella Environmental Health Assessment Form for building water systems.