New CDC Report on Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Released

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Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its biennial report that compiles the waterborne disease outbreaks associated with drinking water. The 2013-2014 report summarizes 42 drinking water-associated outbreaks. The health impacts from these outbreaks were 1,006 reported cases of illnesses, 124 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths.

Legionella was associated with 57% of the outbreaks, which shows the ongoing challenges with this pathogen and the difficulties that building managers have with maintaining water quality within building plumbing (including cooling towers). For four of the outbreaks, 69% of the etiology was determined to be either a chemical or a toxin or Cryptosporidium.