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OSHA updates Legionellosis webpage

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Washington — OSHA has revised its safety and health topics page about Legionellosis to include updated information on preventing, identifying and managing workplace exposure to Legionella bacteria hazards.

Legionellosis comprises Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially life-threatening type of bacteria-induced pneumonia, and Pontiac fever, a less serious affliction. About 6,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported annually, according to OSHA. The disease is not contagious and is treatable with antibiotics.

The National Institutes of Health states that Legionnaires’ disease typically is contracted by ingesting mist from water that contains Legionella bacteria. The water may originate from hot tubs, showers or air conditioning units in large buildings.

OSHA updated both Chapter 7 of the OSHA Technical Manual and its Legionella eTool, a device intended to assist employers, health care providers, and safety and health professionals when inspecting jobsites for Legionellosis.

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