The Ministry of Health recommends preventive measures against infections from use of cold humidifiers Legionnaire’s disease is an acute pneumonia affecting mainly the elderly, suppressed immune system patients and patients suffering from respiratory tract diseases and various chronic illnesses. The disease is caused by a bacteria in water systems (including drinking water), which multiplies in hot or warm standing water, especially in the presence of scale and other deposits. Infection is through inhalation of fine water droplets containing the bacteria, but not through drinking the water.
Cases of infection with Legionnaire’s disease have been reported recently in Israel and around the world among children and infants due to the use of cold vaporizers. Cold vaporizers are in wide use, especially during the winter and when infected with respiratory diseases. These vaporizers spray an aerosol, as a part of their normal operation, where the aerosol originates from the water in the device. If the water is contaminated with legionella bacteria, then this operation may infect the members of the household.
To prevent infection when using cold vaporizers, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health recommends that the public take the following precautions as a matter of routine:
- Once a day: empty, wipe and dry the device and fill it with boiled water that has been left to cool.
- Once a week: thoroughly clean the inside of the device with a suitable cleaning agent and allow it to dry.
- Once per season: thoroughly clean and dry the device before and after storing it.
For detailed guidelines on preventing the proliferation of the legionella bacteria in domestic water systems and prevention of infection from vaporizers.