Legionella is a water-borne bacteria. When inhaled as a vapor, Legionella can cause Legionnaires' Disease, a severe pneumonia.
The first, and eponymous, outbreak of Legionnaires' was in 1976. It occurred at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. The disease infected 221 people, killing 34 of them. Search "Legionnaires' Disease" on Google News and you can see recent regional outbreaks. Legionnaires' outbreaks are local in nature, but can happen anywhere. Recent outbreaks occurred in Flint, Michigan and the Southern Gulf States.
The CDC estimates that 8-18,000 people need hospital care each year, due to Legionnaire's. Fatality rates for outbreaks range between 5-30%. When the patient has delayed medical treatment, the rate rises to 50%.
Legionella thrives in warm water. Regular maintenance of plumbing, HVAC, hot tubs and decorative water features minimizes bacterial growth. This generally includes the use of disinfectants, like bleach.
If a person develops Legionnaires' Disease from equipment or facilities at your property, you can be held liable. GL policies generally exclude bacterial risks. We recommend an Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL) Policy, to insure against such liabilities. EIL policies extend coverage to insure not just against bacterial liabilities, but also mold, soot, smoke and pollution cleanup. P3 is proud to announce the addition of EIL Protection under the MRMG Program. Contact P3 Insurance with any questions!