Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially life-threatening pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria, has seen an alarming increase in the past decade, according to a report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to Allvoices.com, the CDC’s report shows that cases involving Legionnaires’ disease have tripled in the last 10 years, with major unexplained increases in New England in 2011.
Other states with startling flare-ups include Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, all with double the amount of cases from last year, and there have also been sharp increases in northeastern states as well. An advisory was issued to all state healthcare providers to look out for any patients who have Legionnaires’ disease or may be experiencing symptoms of the disease, and to report any of these cases.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the inhaling of an infectious dose of Legionella bacteria, which is often found in contaminated water sources such as whirlpool spas, showers, faucets, and cooling towers. The symptoms of this disease are similar to the flu which can make it hard to diagnose initially, but can include:
- High fever;
- Muscle aches; and
Legionnaires’ symptoms usually begin within 2 to 14 days of being exposed to the bacteria.
In July, an outbreak of Legionnaires’ was seen at the luxury Las Vegas resort Aria, but other reported outbreaks have been seen in hotels in Hamilton, Ontario and Ocean City, Maryland. In addition, residents in a Cleveland nursing facility contracted the disease in June, as well as a number of Playboy mansion guests getting the disease at a party in February. All of these reported cases show that Legionnaires’ disease can be caught at a variety of places, so it is important to be wary of public places that may have a contaminated water source.
As the symptoms of Legionnaires disease are similar to the flu, this winter season it is important to see a medical provider if you experience any flu-like symptoms to ensure it is nothing more than a seasonal cold or flu. This disease can be very serious and can cause death in five to 30% of cases. If you or a loved has contracted Legionnaires’ disease that was the fault of another party or business, such as a hotel, the Legionnaires’ disease attorney in Maryland, Steven H. Heisler, can help. Heisler is one of the few attorneys in the country that handles these types of cases, and he can help you get the compensation you deserve for your illness. Please call (877) 228-4878 for a free consultation.