High temperatures will kill off Legionnaire's disease-forming bacteria in geyser

Kieno Kammies speaks to Dr Wendy Stone from Stellenbosch University's Water Institute about the increased likelihood of a bacteria which causes Legionnaire's disease being found in hot water geysers.

According to a new study at the university, bacteria that could cause a severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease could be growing inside your hot water geyser.

Dr Stone says it is important not to create fear-mongering or panic.

Legionnaire's disease is contracted through inhaling the bacteria rather than from person-to-person contact, explains Dr Stone.

Many people keep their hot water geysers at lower temperatures to save money, to save the environment or help out Eskom, she says.

She suggests that people let their hot water geysers heat up fully for at least 40 minutes before bathing or showering as the high temperatures kill off the bacteria.

Once a week she recommends turning the geyser on high temperature for at least 5 hours to ensure the bacteria is killed.

Take a listen to Dr Stone's advice below:


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