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Legionella Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 5/6/2022
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Hawaii Department of Health Investigates Legionnaires’ Disease Cluster
Introduction EMSL Analytical offers rapid PCR and traditional culturing methods to test environmental samples for Legionella, the microbial pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, May 5th, 2022

The State of Hawaii, Department of Health (DOH) recently announced it was investigating several cases of Legionnaires’ disease that occurred in guests who stayed at a Waikiki resort. The first case was identified in June of last year, a second case was diagnosed this past March, and a third case was confirmed in April. DOH has reported that the exact source of illness and extent of spread are being investigated and the agency is working closely with resort officials to protect public health. They have also distributed a request to public health agencies across the country to report cases of Legionnaires’ disease with a travel history to the islands.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia that can result when people inhale water droplets or mists containing Legionella bacteria. Exposure to Legionella can also cause a less severe condition known as Pontiac fever. Legionella is found naturally in freshwater environments, but can become a health concern if it grows and spreads in building water system. Potential sources listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

  • Showerheads and sink faucets
  • Cooling towers
  • Hot tubs
  • Decorative fountains and water features
  • Hot water tanks and heaters
  • Large, complex plumbing systems


“Identifying the source of an outbreak is critical as the CDC reports that Legionnaires' disease can be fatal in up to 10% of diagnosed cases,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Over the years, there have been a number of cases linked to hotels and resorts. Taking proactive measures to test manmade water systems, as part of a water management program to detect Legionella exposure risks, can also help to prevent illnesses, outbreaks and fatalities.”

Working to identifying environmental sources of Legionella are the scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. With locations across North America, they offer traditional culturing methods, and rapid PCR and Whole Genome Sequencing methods. A number of their laboratories have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from its Elite Program for Legionella testing and some of them are also NYSDOH ELAP Legionella certified.

To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit www.LegionellaTesting.com or www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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