Warning issued about Legionnaires’ disease as businesses re-open
As the phased reopening of business continues in the coming weeks and months, Green Party Spokesperson for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Steven Matthews TD has encouraged business owners, particularly hotels, B&Bs and hairdressers to take every precaution against Legionella bacteria which can develop in water tanks after significant periods of disuse.
Deputy Matthews said: “As we get further into our phased reopening, our economy is opening up and as long as there is no significant shift in public health advice, this is extremely welcome. All businesses, both big and small, are eager to open their doors and I have previously voiced support for a whole range of measures to assist businesses reopening and for people to shop and spend locally if they can afford to.
“However, something that has been raised with me and by the HSE in recent weeks is the potential risk of Legionnaires’ disease in the water tanks of businesses such as beauty salons, hotels and recreation centres. Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection, caused by inhaling small droplets of water, suspended in the air, which contain Legionella bacteria and can be extremely dangerous.
“Obviously first and foremost our concern needs to be on Covid-19 and the potential risk of spreading that disease but business owners must take measures to ensure that water tanks that in some cases have been lying unused since March are fully clean and safe for customers.
“The last thing any business owner needs at the moment is a further period of closure so the best thing to do is to ensure the safety of their customers and staff before reopening which I am sure business owners will be doing anyway,” Deputy Matthews concluded.