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Doctor insights on: Medicine For Legionnaires Disease

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What is legionnaires disease?

What is legionnaires disease?

Probably not: Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection. Legionnaires' disease is caused by a bacterium known as legionella. You can't catch legionnaires' disease from person-to-person contact. Instead, most people get legionnaires' disease from inhaling the bacteria. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are particularly suscep. ...Read more

Dr. Tanya Russo
52 Doctors shared insights

Legionnaires' Disease (Definition)

A type of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. ...Read more


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What is legionnaires' disease?

A type of pneumonia: It is a type of pneumonia caused by a bacterium called legionella. This bacterium likes to grow in standing water such as in air conditioning units. ...Read more

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Is legionnaires' disease common?

Is legionnaires' disease common?

No: The bacteria that causes legionaires' disease requires a moist environment to grow. Most cases have been associated with ccontaminate air conditioning units. ...Read more

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What causes legionnaires disease?

What causes legionnaires disease?

Legionella sp.: Legionella pneumophilia is the bacteria that causes legionaires' disease. It was first recognized when it caused an epidemic of pneumonia at a pennsylvania state american legion convention in philadelphia in 1976. Thus the name. ...Read more

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How do you get legionnaires disease?

Legionnaire's Dz: The bacterium Legionella Pneumophila causes most cases of Legionnaire's Disease & is spread when microscopic water drops are inhaled. ...Read more

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How is legionnaires' disease treated?

How is legionnaires' disease treated?

Antibiotics: Antibiotics used to treat legionaires' disease include erythromycin, azithromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, Moxifloxacin and clarithromycin.
If the patient is severely ill they are hospitalized and given supportive care. ...Read more

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How is legionnaires disease transmitted?

Ihalation: The bacterium Legionella Pneumophila causes most cases of Legionnaire's Disease & is spread when microscopic water drops are inhaled. ...Read more

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What are signs of legionnaires' disease?

What are signs of legionnaires' disease?

Cough, SOB, fever: Legionaires' disease cannot accurately be differentiated from other forms of pneumonia based on signs and symptoms. The most common symptoms of pneumonia are cough, sputum production, shortness of breath, fever, chills, and chest pain on inspiration. Muscle aches, diarrhea, confusion, low sodium and phosphorus levels and elevated liver enzymes arealso common findings in legionaires' disease. ...Read more

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Is legionnaires' disease easy to diagnose?

Is legionnaires' disease easy to diagnose?

No: Presentation includes respiratory symptoms such as cough (may not be productive) and sob, fever, chills, and chest pain. Other symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. May also be characterized by a fever with a pulse-temperature dissociation, nonproductive cough, few pulmonary symptoms, diarrhea, hyponatremia, and elevated AST and alt. ...Read more

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How did legionnaires' disease get its name?

How did legionnaires' disease get its name?

American Legion: During the bicentennial in 1976, american legion members held a convention in philadelphia. Many of them became ill and some died from a previously unknown infectious agent. The culprit in legionaires' disease was a "new" germ, later named, in honor of the legionaires, "legionella pneumophila.". ...Read more

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How does a person get legionnaires' disease?

How does a person get legionnaires' disease?

Water supplies: This is very rare, but typically from stagnant water supplies like collecting cistern on rooftops. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of legionnaires disease?

What are the symptoms of legionnaires disease?

Pneumonia: Generally, patients have pneumonia: difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever, chills, weight loss. They are sometimes called "walking pneumonia" since you are sick, but not usually in a hospital. ...Read more

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How common is legionnaires' disease in the us?

How common is legionnaires' disease in the us?

3200 per year: There are somewhere in the range of 3200 cases reported each year -- but reported cases and actual cases are not necessarily the same number. Many consider this one of the top 3 causes of community acquire pneumonia. ...Read more

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What are the main symptoms of legionnaires disease?

What are the main symptoms of legionnaires disease?

Symptoms: Legionnaires' disease usually develops two to 14 days after exposure to legionella bacteria. It frequently begins with the following signs and symptoms: headache, muscle pain, chills, fever that may be 104 f (40 c) or higher
by the second or third day, you'll develop other signs and symptoms that may include: cough, which may bring up mucus and sometimes blood, shortness of breath, +/- GI symptom. ...Read more

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Can someone get legionnaires disease more than once?

Yes: This is a lung infection from inhaling (not person to person contact) the legionella bacteria. Most outbreaks are from plumbing systems in poorly maintained buildings or through contaminated soil (such as gardeners). Like any bacterial infection it can recur. Risk of recurrence increases if you smoke, are older (65 years), have chronic lung disease or repeated exposure. ...Read more

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Is legionnaires' disease spread from person to person?

No: People can get it from the same exposure - conference rooms with contaminated a/c, baths and jacuzzis etc. It is not spread from person to person. ...Read more

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Should a person with legionnaires disease be isolated?

No: The cdc says legionnaire's is not transmitted person-to-person, and my experience with the pathology of the disease and my knowledge of the nature of outbreaks makes me believe that this is true. ...Read more

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How can I reduce my risk of getting legionnaires' disease?

How can I reduce my risk of getting legionnaires' disease?

Avoid source: Legionnaires' disease is an infection with a legionella bacteria that causes a pneumonia. It is transmitted in a waterborne fashion, often from cooling towers, humidifiers and such. It is not spread person-to-person. It is treated with antibiotics if found. Avoiding the source is the best way to avoid infection. There is no other preventive treatment that I am aware of. ...Read more

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I smoke, am I more susceptible to contracting legionnaires' disease?

I smoke, am I more susceptible to contracting legionnaires' disease?

Yes: Legionnaires' disease is an infection with a bacteria that causes a pneumonia. It is transmitted in a waterborne fashion, often from cooling towers, humidifiers and such. It is not spread person-to-person. It is treated with antibiotics. Avoiding a source is the best way to avoid infection. Risk factors include smoking, older age, diabetes, lung or kidney disease, cancer, or a poor immune system. ...Read more

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What is the likelihood that I will die if I contract legionnaires' disease?

Speed of diagnosis: Diagnosed and treated early, the mortality is still several percent. Missed, it's well into the double digits. Good luck. ...Read more

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Can the risk of legionnaires' disease be determined by geographical location?

Can the risk of legionnaires' disease be determined by geographical location?

No: The bug that causes "legionaire's disease" can be found in all climates. It is not spread from person to person. It has a predilection to occur more in the summer months, and its not entirely clear why. Some speculate that it can inhabit air conditioning towers, but it has also been found in the environment (soil). It is more likely to affect those with underlying lung or heart disease. ...Read more

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I have a donated organ, will there be complications with legionnaires' disease?

I have a donated organ, will there be complications with legionnaires' disease?

Legiionnaires Dis: Yes there may be complications. Call your doctor to report the infection and ask about complications. ...Read more

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That's an odd name for a disease. How did it get the name legionnaires' disease?

That's an odd name for a disease. How did it get the name legionnaires' disease?

Organism name: The disease was originally called pontiac fever, named after the city in michigan where the disease was first described. However, legionella is the organism that causes the disease. ...Read more

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I love to go to a local spa. Am I at more risk for contracting legionnaires' disease?

Yes, but risk is low: Legionnaires' disease is an infection with a legionella bacteria that causes a pneumonia. It is transmitted in a waterborne fashion, often from cooling towers, humidifiers and such. It is not spread person-to-person. It is treated with antibiotics if found. Avoiding the source is the best way to avoid infection, and yes, you could get it from a water source at your spa, but it is uncommon. ...Read more

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Why was legionnaires disease given such an odd name? When and where was the disease first identified?

American Legion: The disease got its name from an outbreak of pneumonia among people attending an american legion convention at the bellevue-stratford hotel in philadelphia in july 1976. ...Read more

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Is legionnaires' disease contagious?

Is legionnaires' disease contagious?

No: If you refer from person-to-person- no.

It is spread by aerosolized water that harbor the organism. Examples include air-conditioning vents, misters in the vegetable aisles, ornamental water features in hospital lobbies, and humidifiers with stagnant water. ...Read more