Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a bacterium known as legionella.
The Legionella bacterium causes a type of pneumonia that got its name after the 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.
You can’t catch legionnaires’ disease from person-to-person contact.
Legionella is usually found in freshwater settings, including lakes, rivers, and streams. Legionella can also survive in soil. But most people don’t get Legionnaires’ there. Legionella thrives in warm water. It often spreads through a building’s contaminated water system.
Most people get legionnaires’ disease from inhaling the bacteria. People 50 years or older, People who smoke or used to smoke, those with lung diseases, those with weak immune systems, people with cancer and people with diabetes or kidney/sliver failure are more susceptible to contract the disease.
It takes about 2 – 10 days after exposure to the bacteria for Legionnaires’ disease to develop usually.
- Muscle ache
Symptoms post 3 days:
- Chest Pain
- Breathing Problems
- Cough with mucus and blood occasionally
- Other Gastrointestinal Issues
- mental instability like confusion
- Occasional infections in open wounds, heart and other parts of the body.
With Legionnaires disease, people continue to experience problems after treatment.
The bacteria also causes the Pontiac Fever. It is milder and resembles a flu. The two illnesses are sometimes called legionellosis. While untreated legionnaires’ disease can be fatal, Pontiac fever usually clears on its own. The latter may produce signs and symptoms including a fever, chills, headache and muscle aches. But it doesn’t infect your lungs, and symptoms usually clear within two to five days.