Legionnaires' Disease

Posted by e-Medical PPT Thursday, October 17, 2013

Legionnaires' Disease is a form of pneumonia. The cause is the legionella pneumophila bacterium. People become infected with the bacterium when they inhale it after it’s been aerosolized. As with other types of pneumonia, the bacteria invade the lungs and begin to proliferate there. The disease tends to strike older people and men are more often affected than women. People are more at risk if they smoke or if their immune systems are weak.

The person first begins to experience symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease about a week after being exposed to it. Legionnaires’ disease presents with fatigue, headache, muscle ache, fever and chills and an unproductive cough. In severe cases, the patient suffers from diarrhea and mental confusion. The mortality rate from Legionnaires’ Disease is between 10 and 15 percent though some researcher claim that the mortality rate is as high as 30 percent.

Legionnaires' Disease is best treated with quinolones like levofloxacin or macrolides like clarithromycin. Tetracyclines are also useful in treating the disease.

The legionella bacterium is common and is found in water. It only becomes a problem when water systems aren’t well maintained and allow the bacteria to multiply to dangerous levels.

LegionellaControl.com offer a range of training, risk assessment & prevention services and are world class experts in the field of legionnaires disease.

How Did Legionnaire’s Disease Come About?
Legionnaires disease came about during a convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia during the summer of 1976. The bacteria was unknown before this time. The bacteria seems to have infected the legionnaires when they breathed it in through a faulty air conditioning system.

Why It’s Called Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ Disease was named after members of the American Legion who first came down with the disease in the summer of 1976. One hundred and thirty legionnaires came down with this form of pneumonia and 25 of them died.

Who Discovered Legionnaires Disease?
The legionella bacteria was first isolated in January, 1977. The person who discovered the bacteria was Dr. Joseph McDade.

Where Legionnaires' Disease was First Found
Legionnaires’ disease was first discovered in Philadelphia's Bellevue-Stratford Hotel on 200 South Broad Street.
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