Legionnaire's Disease: What Is It?

Legionnaire’s disease is a type of lung infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People catch the disease by coming into contact with water infested with Legionella, the bacteria responsible for the disease. Although Legionella has existed in water supplies for centuries, the bacteria was only identified in 1976, when visitors at an American Legion convention all came down with the same symptoms caused by the bacteria. Legionnaire’s disease acts like pneumonia. People who are infected usually experience a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some patients have muscle aches and headaches as well. A chest X-ray can confirm whether or not you have pneumonia, while lab tests see whether the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease is present in your body. Legionnaire’s disease is serious: up to 30 percent of patients who have it suffer permanent injury or death. The disease is more likely to kill children and elderly patients but anyone can become a victim. Since the symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease usually don’t appear for at least two days after you catch the bacteria, figuring out where you got sick can be difficult. Legionella bacteria prefers warm water, like that in hot water tanks[…..]