It has often been said that the temperature, movement and the overall effect of water in the hot tub offer multiple therapeutic health benefits. Hot tub therapy is usually recommended for a wide variety of complaints and conditions. They’re great for tired, aching and sore muscles, headaches and sleeping problems, circulation and blood pressure problems. Studies suggest chronic fatigue, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes benefit too. But what about the legionella risk of hot tubs and Spas?
What people should be aware of, however, is that hot tubs are probably the greatest source of legionnaires’ disease cases. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that afflicts as many as 18,000 patients every year in the USA alone. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by Legionella, a type of bacteria that naturally thrives in hot or warm water. So, hot tubs a are an ideal breeding ground for these bacteria. Infection occurs when a person breathes in droplets of water from the mist given off by a contaminated hot tub. The bacteria will happily live and grow in the lungs.
Legionnaires’ disease is potentially fatal, but it can be treated with antibiotics if proper and timely management of the infection is followed. It can pose serious risks to certain types of patients, including older adults, smokers, people with diabetes, cancer or kidney failure. In fact anyone with a weakened immune system is much more vulnerable to a fatal infection. Luckily, Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from one person to another.
One way to protect yourself and your family from Legionella is to be discriminating when choosing which hot tubs to use. Also, make it a habit to observe the quality of water first before going in.
- A properly maintained hot tub has no or little odour, those with a strong chemical/chlorine smell indicates incorrect maintenance systems.
- The water should be clear, never cloudy.
- You should be able to hear the noise of pumps, filters and hot tub equipment that indicate that they are turned on and running.
- Lastly, check the side and tiles: they should feel squeaky-clean and not slippery or sticky.
Both commercial and home owners must carry out regular microbiological testing. Should the test results come back positive, AquaCert will guide you on the fast and complete elimination of bacteria as well as long-term control and monitoring.