Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria.
People usually contract Legionnaires’ by inhaling mist or vapor
from water containing bacteria. The bacteria was named Legionella Pneumophila
after the 1976 outbreak at the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia
which resulted in 221 cases of pneumonia – 34 of which were fatal.
Legionnaires’ disease continues to occur, generally from the mist
or vapor from air conditioning units, ventilation systems, showers, hot
tubs, humidifiers and icemakers in commercial or industrial systems. Recent
outbreaks have been found in prisons, hotels, cruise ships, senior living
facilities, fitness centers, and community pools.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include:
- High fever
- Dry cough
- Muscle pain
- Shortness of breath
The majority of people develop pneumonia but a lesser form of the disease
is called Pontiac Fever. People are usually treated with antibiotics once
Legionnaires’ is identified. The disease is diagnosed by chest x-rays
and laboratory tests. While most people recover with the help of antibiotics,
Legionnaires’ is a life-threatening disease. People most prone to
- Are smokers
- Have chronic lung disease
- Have a weakened immune system
- Are over the age of 50
The most effective way to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease
is through maintenance of water systems and ventilation systems. Outbreaks
have given rise to lawsuits against building or hotel owners and operators
who have put people at risk by failing to regularly or properly maintain
these systems. If you or a family member has suffered a loss or severe
injury as the result of Legionnaires’ disease, you may want to talk
to an attorney to understand your options in pursuing a lawsuit. You can
email Brett H. Oppenheimer, attorney, at
email@example.com or fill out a contact form on this website to set up a free consultation.