A 'prescribed facility' means:
- a public sector hospital that provides treatment or care to inpatients; or
- a private health facility licensed under the Private Health Facility Act 1999; or
- a State aged care facility; or
- a residential aged care facility, other than a State aged care facility, prescribed by regulation.
A 'prescribed test' for Legionella is a test that:
- quantifies the number of Legionella colony forming units in the sample tested; and
- is carried out by a laboratory accredited as complying with the international standard ISO/IEC 17025, and
- is a test identified in the scope of the laboratory's accreditation.
Legionella are a class of bacteria found in the natural environment around the world. There are over 50 species of Legionella bacteria, some of which can cause disease in humans. The most common disease causing species are Legionella pneumophila and Legionella longbeachae.
Most Legionella species, including Legionella pneumophila, thrive in warm water, and need the presence of other organisms (e.g. amoebae) to multiply. They grow readily in man-made environments such as inside plumbing fixtures and pipes, where warm temperatures and the build-up of nutrients and microorganisms on surfaces (called biofilm) provide an ideal environment.
Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella. Humans might contract this disease by inhaling microscopic/ invisible droplets (aerosols) of contaminated water from man-made systems such as hot or warm water systems, showerheads, spa baths and fountains.
While most people are unlikely to get Legionnaires' disease, some groups are more at risk than others. It is not spread person-to-person.
Under Section 61H of the Public Health Act 2005 the person in charge of a prescribed facility must give notice to the Department of Health within 1 business day of receiving a positive Legionella result(s) from a prescribed test. The approved Notifying a Detection of Legionella form must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 'business day' means a day that is not a Saturday or Sunday or a public holiday, special holiday or bank holiday.