Legionnaire Disease

Legionnaire Disease

PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET

What is Legionnaire's Disease?
Legionnaire's Disease is a bacterial disease that causes a severe, sometimes life-threatening, pneumonia. This disease is airborne and results when someone inhales the aerosolized bacteria from an infected water source as may be found in an air-conditioning cooling tower, hot water system, or humidifier.   Legionnaire's disease is not spread by person-to-person contact.

Who can get Legionnaire's Disease?
Disease occurs most frequently in older individuals, with most cases diagnosed in persons at least 50 years of age.   People prone to infection include smokers, those with suppressed immune systems, and those who have chronic illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease.

How is it treated?
Legionnaire Disease can be life threatening and often requires hospitalization, so seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you may be infected. Antibiotics may be required. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment helps insure a better response to therapy and may assist public health officials in identifying the source of infection.

SYMPTOMS OF LEGIONNAIRE'S DISEASE
  • Headache
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • High fever (102F-105F)
  • Other signs of pneumonia
  • Cough without phlegm
  • Chills
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Diarrhea