A recent outbreak of legionnaires’ disease was discovered in the Moncton region in New Brunswick, Canada. There are currently seven cases in the region, with six of those seven being hospitalized or in intensive care. All seven of these individuals are suffering from severe pneumonia.
The question is how did this arise and how can we prevent legionnaires’ disease from returning in the future?
Where does legionnaires’ disease come from?
According to an article published by Shane Magee from CBC News, legionnaires is caused when an individual inhales water droplets containing the bacteria. Magee notes that the bacteria can be found in many natural waterways and man-made systems such as air conditioners, cooling towers, spas and decorative fountains. When these systems are poorly maintained or have no timetable for cleanings, the bacteria can develop; consequently, getting many people sick. According to Shane Magee, in 2019 Moncton had another legionnaires outbreak that was traced back to cooling towers at Organigram’s Moncton production plant in Western Moncton that were poorly maintained. Callum Smith notes in his article by Global News that when legionella builds up in cooling towers, the bacteria can be dispersed into the air and then carried by the wind; as a result, people get sick from breathing in the air.
How we can prevent the spread of legionnaires.
The first step in preventing further spread of legionnaires is to ensure that there are regulatory maintenance laws in place for man-made systems such as cooling towers. Austin Henderson, Moncton’s city manager, expressed his need for regulations by saying “our position remains that, in order to have a consistent, coordinated approach, the province should have a registry of these cooling towers to be able to track when they’re cleaned, where they are in the event there’s an outbreak elsewhere.”
Currently, Moncton does not have any testing or maintenance systems in place to monitor the health of these cooling towers.
Digital facility management software solves the problem of lack of testing and maintenance systems. Many digital facility management software provide regular reminders, email notifications, and alerts when maintenance needs to be completed. Additionally, many digital facility management software contain the ability to quickly communicate with management if an issue arises; consequently, allowing property managers or building engineers to have greater insight into the maintenance across their property. By using a form of inspection and maintenance software, property managers can gain greater insight into the health of their cooling towers and act accordingly; as a result, prevent the spread of legionnaires’ disease, while also keeping their man-made systems in top shape.
How Onsite HQ can help.
Onsite HQ is a digital inspection software that can help standardize the process of maintaining your buildings. By using Onsite HQ, you gain access to routine reminders when an inspection needs to be done or is overdue, as well as the ability to communicate with the property manager if an issue arises. For example, if the cooling tower needs to be cleaned, you can take a picture and send it over to management so that they can contact the appropriate contractor to clean it. We also understand that property managers manage various properties and sometimes it can be overwhelming to keep up with each inspection at every location they manage. Onsite HQ gives property managers the ability to view each inspection in real-time, so that they can see that maintenance is actually being performed. By implementing a digital inspection software like Onsite HQ, you can help prevent the spread of legionnaires’ disease, since you can be certain that maintenance is being performed in a timely manner, while being aware of all concerns and potential hazards as communicated by your staff that are on site.
Onsite HQ is a cost-effective facility management software solution that can help managers maintain properties of any size. We offer a variety of plans depending on your needs and our software has all the features that you’ll need in a digital facility management system.
The software implementation process takes your requirements into account to create a program specific to your needs. You’ll get user training, data collection and import functions, system installation and IT infrastructure support.
To see how we can streamline your implementation, schedule a call today.
Get better oversight with Onsite.
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“Another Legionnaires’ DISEASE Case as Public Health Tests Cooling Towers in Western MONCTON | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 12 Aug. 2021, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/legionnaires-disease-moncton-new-case-1.6139070
Csmithglobal. “’Very Surreal Experience’: Legionnaires’ Disease Survivor Calls for Registry, Maintenance Laws – New Brunswick.” Global News, Global News, 12 Aug. 2021, globalnews.ca/news/8105092/legionnaires-disease-outbreak-cooling-tower-registry-needed/.