NSF Health Sciences and the US National Environmental Health Association [NEHA] are to co-host a virtual special session of the annual Legionella Conference, which will focus on disease prevention from waterborne pathogens during a public health crisis.
Originally scheduled to take place in January 2021 in Chicago, the special session entitled ‘Prevention of Disease and Injury from Waterborne Pathogens During an Emergent Health Crisis’ has been rescheduled as a virtual event to take place over March 9 and March 10, as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual Legionella Conference brings together hundreds of stakeholders to address issues and challenges around constructing water systems and explore how sectors such as the healthcare industry, water utilities, manufacturing and hospitality can better respond to water-related problems.
NSF Health Sciences is an NSF International company. NSF International is a global public health organisation which has been supporting businesses as they develop, implement and maintain Covid-19 best practice. Throughout the pandemic, NSF Health Sciences and NEHA experts have responded through public outreach and thought leadership, outlined risk management actions to slow and prevent the spread of Legionella in water systems and compiled helpful information and resources for environmental health professionals.
Covid-19 has culminated in shutdowns of commercial and industrial facilities as well as educational institutions, leading to low occupancy rates in buildings. This poses the threat of Legionella growth and other significant impacts on water quality and operation within building water systems when the water is left stagnant due to lack of activity within.
Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease and is able to thrive in the biofilm of water systems where flow rate is low or stagnant, where there are tepid water temperatures or where there is a depleted disinfectant residual.
Several prominent speakers from across the globe will be taking part in the session, including names such as Dr. Susanne Surman-Lee from Leegionella Ltd, Biolinea’s Dr. Sebastián Crespí and various speakers from the water industry and environmental health agencies, such as Dr. William J. Rhoads [Eawag Aquatic Research], Steve Deem [Washington State Department of Health], Kelley Dearing Smith [Louisville Water Company] and Mandy Cawby [Water One].
Specific issues on the session’s agenda include technical risk management and sampling strategies for water systems, how to reopen buildings with full water access safely, and state-issued Covid-19 guidance relating to water management, emergency planning and resiliency strategies to resume normal operation while preventing further dangers to public health.
The virtual session will make time for keynote addresses as well as breakout sessions, and those taking part will be able to participate in virtual booths to more closely engage with the speakers and other attendees.
For those interested in participating in the conference, details and registration information can be found via the event website here, or information can be requested by email at email@example.com.