In the event of being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease infection, it is important to understand that there can be no claim made on behalf of the victim unless a determination can be made about the source of the infection and who is potentially liable.
Legionnaires’ disease is an infection caused by bacteria known as Legionella. The primary symptom that is shown by a victim is pneumonia. Surprisingly Legionella is commonly found in water sources both natural and artificial. It is the level at which the bacteria exists, and the vulnerability of the person that creates the potential for infection.
Identifying the Source of Legionnaires Exposure is Critical to Determining if a Claim Can Be Made
In determining whether a claim can be made as a result of contracting legionnaires disease, the main issue is whether a source can be established as a cause of the individual’s diagnosis. Most of us come into contact with many water sources on a daily basis: showering; supermarkets; decorative fountains; large air conditioning units; health clubs; as well as pools and hot tubs. With so many potential sources of exposure, what can be done to actually connect the illness with the correct source? This seems to be the most difficult challenge for most victims and their families.
- First, the individual or his family should determine the date of the first symptom of the illness, not necessarily the date of the diagnosis.
- Using that date a detailed historical diary of the activities, movement and travel of the victim should be created to trace the exposure possibilities to all water sources within the previous two (2) weeks.
Testing for the Source of the Legionnaires’ Infection
Next, most of us believe we can rely on our local, state and national government health departments to come in and conduct the proper tests on water sources to insure the safety of all of us. Especially when there are major outbreaks like the Bronx, Chicago, and now Flint, Michigan.
Additionally, in seeking out the possible sources of any legionnaires infection, one certainly should reach out to the proper health departments of their county, state and national authority; however, do not let that be the only effort to protect yourself or your family member. Once you have created the list of potential sources of exposure, you should attempt to perform a process of elimination. If you were exposed at the workplace, request that a test be done of the air conditioning and other water sources at the workplace.
Importance of Conducting Your Own Testing
If the location permits it you should perform your own tests through private testing companies such as Biosan.com and Emlab.com. These companies provide a kit and instructions for you to perform swab tests, with the kit being sent back to the company for an objective determination of the water condition and any contamination. Doing your own swab test and sending it to the companies allows a direct and clear test on the suspected location. You can order test kits directly from Biosan’s online store.
Without determining the source of a legionnaires infection, there can be no claim made on behalf of the victim. Additionally, and equally as important, if left unidentified the source of the legionnaires disease will continue to be a threat to the public and other unsuspecting victims.