Environmental News by AirMD

Legionnaires Disease – The Public Needs To Know

Legionnaires disease is a severe bacterial infection of the respiratory tract, caused by Legionella pneumophila, a type of bacteria. The major environmental source of infection to the public is water from reservoirs and cooling units of air conditioning systems on commercial buildings. Additionally, water fountains and misters are also a likely source. Lakes, creeks, and areas of excavation also may harbor the bacteria. Transmission is by breathing in droplets of contaminated water. Person-to-person transmission has not been documented.

The symptoms are similar to those of many other respiratory diseases, making it difficult to differentiate and diagnose. Symptoms may include dry coughing, high fever, chills, diarrhea, shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Occasionally, bloody sputum is produced. Lethargy and confusion can occur in progressive, serious cases.

Cases of Legionnaires disease occur throughout the United States. The article below is an example.

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