Strategies to combat Legionnaires’ Disease – Outbreak Investigation and Preventive Policy

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The NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series provides an opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange on a variety of environmental health topics. The seminars can be attended in-person or online.

Presentation 1: Investigating an Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease from Cooling Towers in Surrey, BC
Presenter: Mark McCabe, Epidemiologist, Fraser Health Authority

In August 2018, Fraser Health detected an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in Surrey, BC. We employed traditional and novel strategies for identifying and stopping the source, and ultimately, were able to implicate a specific cooling tower as a source of the outbreak. This presentation describes the story of our investigation, the tools and strategies we employed, and key challenges and considerations we faced.

Presenter Bio:

Mark McCabe is an Epidemiologist with the Population Health Observatory at Fraser Health. His program support areas include communicable diseases, environmental health, and climate change. Mark is a recent alumni of the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program, during which he provided epidemiologic support to several outbreaks and public health issues in the Fraser region and other parts of Canada. Mark also has a background in molecular microbiology and genomics, and a certificate in infection control and prevention.

Presentation 2: Driving Down Legionella Risk in the City of Vancouver
Presenters: Christopher Radziminski, and Phillip White from City of Vancouver

This year, Vancouver is implementing mandatory operating permits for cooling towers, decorative water features and other building water systems to assist health authorities with Legionella investigations. Additionally, the City is finalising preventive policies for these mechanical systems — including mandatory Legionella testing and reporting, and a new operator certification — and policies for special events. This presentation will summarise the regulations in place and the proposals for January 1, 2021.

Presenter Bios:

Christopher Radziminski is a registered Professional Engineer, a registered Professional Biologist and a certified Small Water System Operator. His background includes a B.Sc. in Microbiology, an M.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering (with research on Cryptosporidium parvum and chlorine dioxide) and a Certificate in Power Equipment Mechanics. He served on the steering committee for the 2019 NSF & NEHA Legionella conference in Los Angeles. In the winter he also works as a night-time backcountry snowshoe guide on a local mountain.

Phillip White is involved with various boards, safety standards committees and code committees, including the ASHRAE 514 Project Committee on “Minimizing Risk of Disease and Injury Associated with Building Water Systems.” He has over 25 years of experience with complex mechanical systems, mechanical design, rainwater reuse and appropriate codes, regulations and acts. In his spare time he enjoys flying, soccer and the occasional Guinness (not at the same time).

Event Date Feb 20, 2020 20:00
Posted by NCCEH Dec 17, 2019
Location Type