Showers can be fatal

Infections with Legionella showers can make you ill

Increasingly, authorities recorded in Germany Legionella infections. An infection with the dangerous bacteria may even lead to death. Because the Legionella bacteria are found not only in the aquatic but also in the domestic tap water. However, there are also protection – how, the experts reveal in this article.

Infection with Legionella bacteria can be fatal

If you have not used because of a prolonged absence the water lines at home, in front of the showers, not hot water running. If you do not do this you run sometimes the risk of being infected with Legionella (legionellosis). These bacteria can lead to enormous health problems. In the extreme case, the Legionella can loose end fatally. Experts explain how you can protect yourself.

Bacteria in water pipes

Legionella worldwide spread of Environmental pathogens that are in smaller number natural component of surface waters and groundwater.

The bacteria multiply best at temperatures between 25 and 45 degrees. Above 60 degrees, you are killed and below 20 degrees, you multiply.

In artificial water systems such as water pipes in buildings, the excitation due to the prevailing temperatures, with particularly good growth conditions.

Transmission by atomized water

“The pathogens are transmitted by atomized, them. The pathogen-containing droplets can be in the air, and inhaled to spread,” explains the Federal centre for health education (BZgA) on your Portal “”.

“Possible sources of Contamination are, for example, showers, humidifiers, or water taps, as cooling towers or air-conditioning systems. Also in swimming pools, a Transmission over waterfalls, Slides, hot tubs and fountains,“ says the expert.

“When you Drink an infection in rare cases is possible, if water gets swallowed accidentally through the trachea into the lungs.”

A direct human to human Transmission is not yet known, it is considered to be unlikely.

Two different clinical pictures

“Since the introduction of legionellosis reporting requirement in the year 2001 a continuous increase in the case of registered numbers have stabilized in recent years at around 600 diseases”, reported the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website.

In the case of the legionellosis, there are two different syndromes: Legionnaires ‘ disease, or medical-Legionella-pneumonia said. This is a severe Form of pneumonia.

In Infected breast and a headache, cough, chills and high fever of 39 to 40.5 degrees develop very quickly.

It can also cause dizziness to more serious States of Confusion. In addition, the abdomen occur occasionally pain with diarrhea and vomiting.

The pneumonia is often difficult, and takes around four weeks. They can also be fatal, shows a case in Bremen. There was a man two years ago, Legionella, have died.

Pontiac fever, a milder form of the course

More often than Legionella-pneumonia is the so-called Pontiac fever. This runs a milder, without lung inflammation.

This progressive form begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, malaise, head and body aches. Also chest pain and cough are possible. Confusional States are rare.

The disease usually heals by itself within two to five days. Late damage and deaths are not known.

Important to know: The first symptoms of Legionnaires ‘ disease to show up two to ten days after contact with the pathogen.

Between the infection and outbreak of Pontiac fever only five hours, however, until nearly three days.

Particularly vulnerable persons

“Particularly vulnerable are people with a weakened immune system, elderly or smokers. Likewise, people who take drugs that suppress the immune system of the body under,” to “”.

These people “develop more frequently in various complications that are affected, especially the brain and kidneys.”

Men are affected more often than women, children rarely.

Pneumonia due to Legionella must be treated with effective antibiotics, and often in the hospital.

When Pontiac fever antibiotics usually bring nothing. Usually only the complaints such as fever can be treated.

In the case of diseases, it is fundamentally important to identify the source of Infection fast and eliminate it to prevent further infections.

So you can protect yourself

It is especially important to avoid the proliferation of Legionella in the piping system of the drinking water Installation.

For this, you should use the water lines regularly, and after a long absence in front of the showers running hot water.

Standing water in the pipes is to be avoided. The Controller temperature on the drinking water heater should be set to at least 60 degrees.

The temperature of the water in the pipe system should have at any point in temperatures below 55 degrees.

A vaccination against Legionella is not available. (ad)