Legionnaires’ disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Legionella, found naturally in the environment and typically in warm water. The disease is transmitted via inhalation of droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria and typically can lead to pneumonia. It can be treated with antibiotics.
In Our Own Words
Legionnaires disease is an infection caused by a bacterium that naturally lives in water and thrives in warm water. Its no surprise then that the legionella bacteria can take root in warm, moist lungs to cause pneumonia.
The bacterium earned its name after an outbreak of the disease in 1976, when many people attending a convention of the American Legion were stricken with the disease. The bacteria are not spread person-to-person, but rather when people inhale a mist or small droplets of water (from contaminated water in hot tubs, fountains and water systems).
Symptoms and Side Effects
- Shortness of breath
- High fever
- Muscle aches