Legionnaires’ disease has been in the headlines frequently of recent with outbreaks reported in the Bronx, Illinois, San Quentin and Ohio among others in just the past month or so.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S annually.

One scholar says Legionnaires’ cases have quadrupled since 2001 and says the federal health agency’s Legionnaires’ disease policies have contributed to the rise.

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution writes in the Daily Caller:

A closer look at CDC policy over the years reveals the ways that a reactive approach is illogical and ineffective. A recurring theme is that CDC discourages environmental testing until an outbreak occurs. At that point, however, CDC demands testing to demonstrate that all evidence of Legionella is gone for up to a year after the outbreak. Inexplicably, CDC’s current recommendation is still that “an epidemiological association with a probable source should be established before intervention methods, such as disinfection, are undertaken” [emphasis added].

This contradiction — environmental surveillance not indicated before an outbreak, but required afterwards — in effect uses people as “canaries in the coal mine” to detect high-risk water sources.

In the article, Miller quotes other experts who also disagree with CDC policies:

Dr. David Krause, the former State Toxicologist for the State of Florida says, “one does not need to know the concentration of Legionella required to cause disease to prevent it, one just needs to know if amplification is being controlled in the system and a simple periodic Legionella laboratory culture test can provide an answer.”

Dr. W. Dana Flanders, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Emory University says, “I am concerned CDC seems to be discouraging environmental Legionella testing based on flawed assumptions … when I looked more closely at references they use to support their position, I found that some of them instead actually supported the opposite position concerning benefits of environmental testing.”

Flanders goes on to say, “When CDC discourages proactive, routine environmental testing, the result is that hazardous sources in building settings with high counts may persist and go unrecognized until after an association with disease.”

Read Dr. Miller’s complete article HERE 

Read more from Dr. Miller on the Daily Caller HERE