beauty & Style

Basmah Qazi

The deadly disease that could be lurking in your shower head

The deadly disease that could be lurking in your shower head

New research conducted in Australia has revealed that 75% of household showers in Adelaide are contaminated with Legionella bacteria, a pathogen that causes Legionnaires disease.

Harriet Whiley, a microbiologist for Flinders University said that those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for contracting the disease, also those who suffer from lung disease, heavy smokers and the elderly.

“It’s particularly significant given our increasingly ageing population when you consider the growing number of elderly residents who wish to remain in independent living so they can stay a part of their existing communities for longer,” Dr Whiley told Better Homes and Gardens.

Legionnaire’s disease occurs when a person breathes in bacteria-infested mist and can be life-threatening. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains and headaches.

For precautionary measures, it is advised to take “simple steps” such as “increasing your hot water temperature and running showers every week to replenish the water sitting in pipes.”

Temperatures need to be above 65C to kill off any bacteria.