CDC STUDY FINDS LEGIONELLA DNA IN COOLING TOWERS ACROSS THE US 

June 2017

Researchers from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention tested water from 196 cooling towers in eight of nine continental US climate regions. Eighty four percent returned with positive results for Legionella DNA, meaning that the bacteria were either present or had been there at some point.


Legionella bacteria are the cause of the respiratory illness Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. Between 2000 and 2014, the rate of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease increased 286 percent in the US.

The CDC study is the first to illustrate how prevalent Legionella bacteria may be in cooling towers, which are known to be a prime culprit in Legionnaires’ disease.

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