How to prevent Legionella infections in mountain huts

Mountain Medicine

The UIAA Medical Commission has published practical advice targeted at operators of mountain huts to prevent Legionella infections.

The expert panel of doctors specialising in mountain medicine decided to investigate the subject following the death of a Spanish climber in Italy in 2009 due to a severe pneumonia from a “Legionella” infection.

While taking into account international guidelines, the paper, “Legionella in Mountain Huts, recommendation for prevention and control of Legionella”, keeps in mind the problems and the difficulties existing in these structures.

This includes advice on various ways of reducing the health risk including tips on how to disinfect the water supply and water container before reopening of the hut for the season.

Comprehensive recommendations

The Legionella document is the 19th and latest in a comprehensive series of recommendation papers that can be downloaded from the UIAA Medical Commission’s page.

The documents provide essential tips on issues of importance to mountaineers or anyone going to high altitude.

Many have also been translated into German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Polish.

The UIAA Medical Commission is a global forum of doctors who meet regularly to up date information on medical issues related to the mountains.