The Health Department conducted a limited phone survey, but did not come to the house for an inspection. We have been advised that I probably inhaled or aspirated some standing water. After 3 weeks, I am back to work, but my strength and stamina are low. We are trying to determine the source of the Legionella so we can take corrective action.
I would appreciate your thoughts regarding the two likely sources in our home:
1) A portable air conditioner that has a 1/2 liter reservoir to catch the condensate. The instructions say to pour this accumulated water down the drain whenever it gets full, which is about once a week during the summer. One week before I got sick, I began to clean this air conditioner and noticed the reservoir had developed a pink mold. I poured out a small amount of water into the sink. I then vacuumed and cleaned the insides of the air conditioner, so I could store it til next summer.
2) I use a dental night guard every night; it is a formed plastic mold of my teeth that keep me from grinding my teeth. I store it in a glass of water every day, and sometimes I forget to change that glass of water for a week or more. Maybe I pulled the night guard out of the “dirty” water and went to bed. Sometimes I cough after putting it in my mouth, and maybe some of the water went down the “wrong pipe” and got into my lungs (aspiration).
The air conditioner is not the likely source.
The dental night guard soaked in tap water may be the source. This can be proven by culturing the home water supply and the “dirty water.” If the health dept will not provide this service, we can do it gratis if the Legionella has been isolated from culture of your sputum. Otherwise, merely use boiled water for storing your dental guard. Let it cool before dropping your dental mold into it.