Legionnaire's Disease

It's Everywhere!

Legionnaire's Disease

Legionnaire's Disease is a harsher form of pneumonia inflammation to the lungs from infection. It's caused by the bacteria legionella when inhaled. LD is not spreadable by contact. Smokers (people with weakened immune systems) are more vulnerable to it.

You are more likely to get Legionnaire's Disease if you smoke; have chronic lung disease such as kidney disease or diabetes; are 50 or older; have a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDs or from specific medications; or live in a nursing home or hotel where germs can spread more easily.

LD symptoms are: muscle pain; headache; chills; fever to 104 degrees or higher; cough, sometimes up blood or mucus; have breath shortness; experience vomiting; diarrhea; nausea; have confusion or mind changes or experience chest pain.

Legionella, the bacteria for Legionnaire's Disease, is found everywhere. In bodies of water (creeks, ponds) in indoor plumbing systems (faucets) in soil, and in air-conditioning units/cooling towers. Legionella can survive outdoors in water and soil, but it won't cause disease. Inside, though, it can multiply in water.

LD is preventable if you don't smoke and use clean pools, spas and water systems.

It's treated with antibiotics, and the sooner you get them the less chance you have of death. And, this process usually requires hospitalization.

Big image

8,000 to 18,000

are hospitalized with Legionnaire's Disease each year in the U.S., but most cases aren't diagnosed so the number may be higher. Most cases happen in summer or early fall, but it can happen any time of year.

The Legionella bacteria makes Pontiac Fever, a milder sickness like the flu, but unlike LD, it can go away on its own. Together or separate, these two diseases are called legionellosis.

The History of Legionnaire's Disease

2,000 people went to the American Legion Convention in July of 1976. But soon some Legionnaires got strange symptoms: pneumonia and fevers up to 107 degrees. And some reported feeling tiredness, chest pain, fever and lung congestion. And a couple days after the convention some had heart attacks; their ages ranging from 39 to 82.

Within a week 130 people had been hospitalized and 25 had died, temporarily closing the Bellevue-Stradford hotel.

Big image

The scientists first thought

that it was swine flu, which is similar to pneumonia, but only actually affected 6 people in the 1970s. So a vaccine was hastily made by the Center Disease Control and Prevention. The public was urged through television and newspapers to get the vaccine. Millions of frightened Americans got it, but an outbreak of swine flu never happened.

Scientists also though it could have been influenza, toxins or poisonous gases, or poison, but it wasn't. They were criticized for not finding the cure right away.

The CDC tested samples of the air, water, soil, and dirt from the Philadelphia hotel , but all came back negative from toxic chemicals or virus.

But on January 18, 1977, seven months after the outbreak, Dr.McDade and his investigation team found out that the virus was spread form the hotel air conditioning system and that it was a bacteria called legionella pneumonia. The disease was around before, but got its official name from the 221 hospitalized and 34 dead Legionnaires.

Big image

There have been more

cases of LD since then.

For example: in March of 1999 in the Netherlands at a Wesfriese flower exhibit, 318 people got sick and 32 people died. September 2005 in Canada 127 residents in a nursing home got infected and 21 died. It was sadly spread by their air-conditioning system. And on November 12, 2014, 302 people had been hospitalized and 7 had died in an outbreak in Portugal. The source was suspected to be from the cooling towers of a fertilizer plant nearby.

Big image

As you can

see, Legionnaire's Disease can happen anywhere, at any time of year. It can be a very deadly disease, and we should do everything we can to prevent it.


Works Cited

1976 Philadelphia Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 11 Oct. 2014. Web.

"1976 Philadelphia Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

Altman, Lawrence K. "In Philadelphia 30 Years Ago, An Eruption of Illness and Fear." The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 July 2006. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Derkins, Susie. Legionnaire's Disease. New York, NY: Rosen Pub. Group, 2002. Print.

Historic American Buildings Survey. Digital image. "The Philly Killer" 1976's Legionnaires' Disease. "The Philly Killer" 1976's Legionnaires' Disease, Spring 2010. Web.

"History & Disease Patterns." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 05 Feb. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Legionnaire's Disease. Digital image. Physiopedia. Physiopedia, 6 Apr. 2011. Web.

Legionnaire's Disease. Digital image. Physiopedia. Physiopedia. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

"Legionnaires Disease: Historical Perspective." Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Clinical Microbiology Review. Web.

"Legionnaires' Disease." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

"Legionnaires Disease." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 17 Nov. 2014. Web.

Lucas, Sarah. "The Philly Killer:" 1976' Legionnaire's Disease. Digital image. The Pennsylvania Center. The Pennsylvania Center. Web. Spring 2005.

Time magazine Legionnaire's Disease. Digital image. "The Philly Killer" 1976's Legionnaires' Disease. "The Philly Killer" 1976's Legionnaires' Disease, Spring 2010. Web.