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Legionnaires Disease

 

Legionnaires disease is caused by a bacteria called legionella that grows in still or stagnant water. It creates a form of pneumonia known as atypical pneumonia. It is named named Legionnaire’s disease after first outbreak in 1976 in Philadelphia of a large state convention of the American Legion.

 

Where do I get Legionella from?

Legionella can be contracted from pools of stagnant water, shower heads, taps, air-conditioning units, spas, pools and hotubs that are not used regularly or maintained properly.

The Legionella bacteria is usually found in offices, hospitals, hotels, nightclubs etc.  It is not commonly seen in people’s homes.

 

Can I get Legionella from drinking water or contact with other people?

Legionella is contracted by breathing in water particles that are infected with the bacteria which then travels to the lungs.  You cannot get it from drinking infected water (unless you accidently inhale some water whilst drinking).

Legionella cannot be contracted from another person and it is normally not found in ponds, lakes or rivers.

 

What are the symptoms of legionnaires disease?

Symptoms range from coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain (especially of this happens whilst breathing or coughing), high temperature (Fever), flu-like symptoms.

 

Is there any treatment for Legionella?

Yes, Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever (an upper respiratory infection caused by the legionella bacteria) can be treated with antibiotics.  People experiencing severe symptoms may have to be hospitalised where Oxygen may have to be administered.

You can find more information on legionnaires disease by clicking here

If you believe that you could be suffering from  Legionella infection, please contact 111 for an assessment.

For medical enquiries call 111

For medical emergencies call 190

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