Legionnaires’ disease (LD), a serious and potentially deadly form of pneumonia, and Pontiac fever (PF), a flu-like self-limited sickness, are the most common forms of legionellosis, although LD is much more common. Both are caused by the Legionella bacteria. In the study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), legionellosis cases across the nation were assessed from 2000 through 2009.
Data was compiled by the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) and the Supplemental Legionnaires Disease Surveillance System (SLDSS). Some of the findings presented include the following:
- There were 22,418 reported cases of legionellosis from 2000 through 2009;
- Legionellosis cases in the U.S. increased 217 percent, from 1,110 cases in 2000 to 3,522 in 2009;
- 99.5 percent of all legionellosis cases were classified as LD, and only 0.5 percent as PF;
- 16,595 of reported legionelliosis cases involved people 50-years-old and older;
- Legionellosis incidence rates increased 8 percent for children aged 9 years and younger and 287 percent for seniors aged 80 years and older; and
- 1,220 cases involving U.S. residents were travel-related, 81 percent domestic travel and 5 percent cruise ship travel.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by breathing in air, mist or water vapor that is contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The bacteria thrive in damp, warm places such as a building’s plumbing and/or air ventilation system. If these systems, as well as others, are not well maintained or are not properly tested for contaminants, the bacteria can spread throughout the entire system, infecting numerous people.
Poorly tested and/or maintained air and water systems can lead to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease and threaten the lives of potentially thousands of people. Steven H. Heisler, “The Injury Lawyer,” is an experienced Legionnaires’ disease attorney and considers it inexcusable that a preventable disease has not only continued to infect people, but that its incidence rates have increased. If you have been diagnosed with Legionnaires disease as the result of poorly maintained or inadequately tested plumbing, air ventilation, air conditioning, or water treatment systems, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact Mr. Heisler today to learn more about your legal rights and options at (877) 228-4878.