I read “Cooling tower outbreaks in the news. What is the explanation?” in a section of the FAQs on this site. I don’t understand the following part of your reply to the question about asking the investigators:
“Did you culture the homes of the patients and their workplaces for Legionella? If they refuse to answer, you will have learned something.”
What does this mean? Why should I doubt the investigators?
The entire reply is:
“Public health authorities downplay thre significance of Legionella infections because most originate from drinking water. It is easier to target a cooling tower and harder to discuss with the general public the implications of Legionella in the drinking water. Note that the investigators said “probably”. All you have to do is ask the investigators “Did you culture the homes of the patients and their workplaces for Legionella?” If they refuse to answer, you will have learned something.”
The implication is that the actual source is not the cooling tower, but the home or workplace of the patients with Legionnaires’ disease. In order to be thorough, the health department should have cultured the drinking water that the patients had been exposed.
See the Publications section for more information. Here are two publications that address this issue.