Legionnaires disease has come back on the radar with water-cooling towers used in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in many buildings have tested positive for legionella according to an August 10, 2015 article in The News, in New York.
This was a problem that arose in Australia in 2013 with the private Wesley hospital in Brisbane going into shutdown ABC News Article and one man critically ill and the worst case in the Melbourne Aquarium in 2001 when 125 people contracted the disease and 4 people died as a result of the disease spreading via the air-conditioning towers.
That finding has highlighted persistent concerns about the upkeep of the cooling towers, which provide the damp, warm environment that many bacteria need to thrive, and which must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the formation of bacteria. Pigeons and other pest birds, which can carry any of 60 known diseases, often leave mounds of droppings around these towers. With Melbourne recently experiencing a climb in the number of pigeons plaguing the city, keeping the birds away from the cooling towers is imperative to public health.
Weekly cleanup costs can easily run into the thousands of dollars for these towers. Failing to keep birds off these structures can result in serious health risks as well as costly equipment damage. In many cases, these steel structures are completely exposed on top and around the bottom with aluminum louvers on the sides. This allows pest birds that are attracted to the heat these towers give off to nest and roost around them.
Bird Proof Netting Cooling Towers
Bird Proof Netting is a highly effective deterrent to keep birds away from rooftop cooling towers. The netting is a physical barrier that seals out pest birds. Rot-proof, waterproof and flame resistant, Bird Proofing Australia’s netting is an effective bird deterrent that tolerates a wide range of temperatures (up to 125 degrees Celsius), the netting is ideal for cooling towers. The bird netting is also non-conductive, so it can be used around electrical systems without worrying about shorts. Available in several stock sizes and custom cuts bird netting also comes in in three different mesh sizes: from 19 inch to 22 inch.
What is legionnaires’ disease?
- A type of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria
- It does not spread person-to-person but by breathing contaminated air
- The bacteria is common in the environment and can be found in air-conditioning systems, hot water systems, showers, spa baths and potting mix
- Only a small number of people exposed will develop the infection
- Groups most at risk are smokers over 50 years of age and people with weak immune systems
- Symptoms begin five to six days after breathing bacteria and include fever, headache and muscle aches
- If treatment is provided quickly, patients begin to improve within three to five days
- Without early treatment, disease can progress to severe illness, kidney failure and death
- Disease is named because the organism was first isolated, in 1978, after a group of US ex-servicemen contracted the disease at an American Legion conference
- Worst outbreak in Australian history was in 2001, when 125 contracted the disease from the air-conditioning cooling towers at Melbourne Aquarium and four people died
Source: Queensland Health, Victorian Department of Health.
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