What is Legionnaires Disease?
Each year, between 200 to 300 cases per year are reported in England and Wales. The mortality rate from confirmed cases is listed as 10 -13% this suggests that the remaining 87% – 90% return to normal pre-Legionellosis health. Contracting Legionellosis can often prove detrimental to major organs of the body which once damaged may remain permanently impaired.
What are the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body.
How serious is it? What is the treatment?
Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases. Most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics [drugs that kill bacteria in the body], and healthy people usually recover from infection.
Where do Legionella bacteria come from?
The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, or parts of the air-conditioning systems of large buildings.