Virtual Conference to Offer Tips on Defeating Legionnaires

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SPRINGFIELD — A Hollywood-recognized advocate and top health and business experts from around the country are coming together later this month to help prepare for safe reopening from COVID-19 in the fight against Legionnaires’ disease.

The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease is warning the waterborne illness can develop after water has sat stagnant in pipes for a while, and homeowners and business owners need to take steps to protect themselves.

APLD has put out this notice about its upcoming national conference Aug. 19-20:

A nationwide advocacy group is bringing together top public health officials, water management experts and noted advocate Erin Brockovich in August to continue its important work on reopening the country safely during and after the coronavirus shutdowns.

The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for better public understanding about and comprehensive handling of risk factors around the waterborne Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria often develops and spreads in stagnant water, and its risks are heightened as many buildings and homes reopen from COVID-19 shutdowns and water is flowing through pipes again.

APLD is leading a two-day, free virtual conference on Wednesday-Thursday, Aug. 19-20, titled: "Recognizing and Mitigating Legionnaires’ Disease Risks During & After the COVID-19 Pandemic." Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT each day and will include:

  • An update on COVID-19 and patient susceptibility from Dr. Vickram Tejwani of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • How Legionnaires’ disease and COVID-19 compare and affect patients, led by experts in respiratory medicine and infectious disease
  • Why Legionnaires’ disease develops and how it should be managed from water source to tap, with APLD Board Member and nationally recognized water expert Bob Bowcock
  • How public health response and water management can be improved to reduce the spread of waterborne disease and deliver safe water, led by the Allergy & Asthma Network and a national COVID-19 reopening expert
  • The steps building owners should take to protect their tenants and themselves from COVID-19 and Legionnaires’ Disease exposure and liability, with noted risk management and legal experts
  • A call to action from Brockovich, a prominent consumer advocate and environmental activist profiled with a Hollywood movie who has worked closely with APLD in recent years to raise awareness of Legionnaires’ disease

The conference is aimed at public health officials, government policymakers and regulators, water utility managers, building owners and managers, insurance and legal risk officials and anyone interested in learning more about the connections between COVID-19 and Legionnaires’ disease.

Brad Considine, APLD’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, said the conference is an outgrowth of the Alliance’s ongoing work to keep attention on the dangers of Legionnaires’ disease amid the pandemic. The Alliance earlier this spring used a national alert to call for renewed attention to Legionnaires’ spread as people begin using water sources that have been idle during shutdowns to slow COVID-19.

"Legionnaires’ disease is the worst kind of silent killer because of how quietly it can develop in our water pipes and how easily it can spread into our homes and businesses and lead to serious illness and even death," Considine said. "We know from COVID-19 that when people are aware of the threat and see the deadly consequences, they will take the actions needed to prevent these problems.

Our hope is this conference will continue our work to spur productive conversations around the country on addressing Legionnaires’ disease risk throughout the water system: as water is treated and managed at our community water systems and then travels through the pipes into our homes and businesses. With schools and colleges reopening this month and as we continue to get back to more normal ways of life, it’s critical we take Legionnaires’ prevention seriously and proactively. Lives and our public health depend on it."

For more information about the conference and to register to attend, visit the Alliance’s website: https://preventlegionnaires.org/event-virtual-conference/. A Legionnaires’ 101 Toolkit of resources is found below with handy information on the issue.

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ABOUT APLD: LEGIONNAIRES’ 101

The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease (APLD) is a national nonprofit organization formed to educate public officials about the science and investments needed to promote a more comprehensive, proactive approach to fighting waterborne disease.

Legionnaires’ disease draws national headlines with each outbreak, causing concern in communities with each case that results in death or serious illness. The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease created this brief toolkit of our best research and arguments to help you understand the basics of this waterborne disease and how to prevent it from developing and spreading.

26-Delivered

via Springfield, IL Patch

August 6, 2020 at 02:02PM

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