Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires' disease is a serious type of pneumonia — lung inflammation generally brought on by an infection. Legionnaires' illness is actually the result of a bacteria referred to as legionella, which are widespread in our environment. You can't catch Legionnaires' disease from person-to-person contact. Most people get Legionnaires' disease from inhaling the bacteria. You cannot catch it from another person or by drinking contaminated water. You usually get it by breathing in mist from water that contains the bacteria. They are found in natural water bodies such as rivers, lakes, creeks and hot springs. The bacteria are also found in spas, potting mix, warm water systems and artificial systems that use water for cooling, heating or even commercial procedures, for example air conditioning systems.
Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include fever, chills, a cough and sometimes muscle aches and headaches. Other forms associated with pneumonia possess comparable signs and symptoms. You will probably need a chest x-ray to identify the pneumonia. Lab tests may identify the specific bacteria which trigger Legionnaires' disease.
Legionella bacteria additionally lead to Pontiac fever, the less severe illness resembling the flu. Separately or together, the two illnesses are sometimes called legionellosis. Pontiac fever usually clears on its own. But Legionnaires' disease is actually severe and may end up being life-threatening. Untreated Legionnaires' disease can be fatal. Although prompt treatment with antibiotics usually cures Legionnaires' disease, some people continue to experience problems after treatment.
Some people are at greater risk of infection compared to other people
Although this is a common bacterium in the environment, only a few people who come in contact with the bacteria become infected. Some people are at greater risk, such as:
  • People over 50 years of age
  • Smokers
  • People with chronic illness
  • People with medical conditions that impair their immune system.

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