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ASTHO Releases Statement on Legionella Public Notification

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) recently issued a statement regarding the role of public health officials in notifying the public about complex infectious disease outbreaks, particularly as states continue to deal with Legionella outbreaks. Currently, there is no national standard concerning the timing of public notification to prevent the spread of Legionella and to inform the public on remediation actions. Therefore, these decisions must be thoughtfully made by qualified, experienced public health professionals and, in many cases, involve the drinking water primacy agency, especially if that agency isn’t located in the state health department. These decisions will be informed by a solid understanding of the epidemiology of the disease and the particular characteristics of each individual outbreak setting, which will lead to appropriate actions to mitigate the environmental sources of the infection.