After returning from a vacation, your chances of contracting a legionella infected home are highest. Your home’s taps and showers haven’t been used in a while, which makes it more susceptible to legionella bacteria. With a little care, you can avoid an infection. What are you waiting for?
There are between 3100 and 4100 cases each year of patients who have contracted pneumonia from Legionella bacteria in the Netherlands. RIVM says that this number could be higher because not all patients are able to be examined properly. Some people have mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms.
Dick Reijman, a member of Techniek Nederland’s entrepreneurs’ association, said that “it is a problem which occurs a lot every single year,” especially in summer. As long as you’re well-informed when you get back home, the chances of contracting legionella are low. For the sanitary companies that we represent, we advise them about the risks and educate them about safe water use.
Tip 1: Keep hot taps plugged for at least a minute
Jan Brouwer de Koning, spokesperson for RIVM, stated that legionella infections can be prevented in the home after returning from a vacation. “Adjust the combi boiler or boiler correctly, at least 60 degrees. After returning from vacation, flush all faucets and the showerhead to change the water. Reijman says to do this for at minimum a minute.
“You mainly have to deal with misting in the shower, so make sure water flows smoothly.”
Technology Netherlands, Dick Reijman
These measures may not be necessary if you’ve been away for a few days. It is a good idea to do this after you have been away for at least a week. You should be cautious.
Tip 2 – Watch out for nebulization
Inhaling small amounts of bacteria-laden water can cause Legionella infection. Reijman says that it is important to flush the toilets smoothly so that there is no water clogging. You will need to address this issue in the shower. It is possible to place the spray head under water in a bucket or on a cloth. Take the nozzle out of the tap.
Tip 3 – Don’t forget your garden hose
Everything must be flushed properly, not only indoors but also outdoors. Reijman states, “The gardenhose is often forgotten.” Make sure your garden hose is in full sunlight before you leave. It is best to flush out a gardenhose that isn’t being used every day. He warns that you should avoid nebulizing here to ensure that you don’t inhale any bacteria.
Tip 4 – Protect yourself at your holiday destination
There is no need to prepare for infection when you return to your home. Reijman emphasizes that it is all about what you do when returning home. It is important to wash the hot and cold water taps at your holiday destination for one minute. The taps and showers may not have been used for a longer time.