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Legionnaires’ Disease Can Cause Pneumonia Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can include:
► Muscle aches
► Shortness of breath
Doctors use chest x-rays or physical exams to check for pneumonia. Your doctor may also order tests on a sample of urine and sputum (phlegm) to see if your
lung infection is caused by Legionella.
Legionnaires’ Disease Is Serious, but Can Be Treated
Legionnaires’ disease is treated with antibiotics (drugs that kill bacteria in the body). Most people who get sick need care in a hospital but make a full recovery. However, about 1 out of 10 people who get Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.
Certain People Are at Increased Risk for
Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella. Being 50 years or older or having certain risk factors can increase your chances of getting sick. These risk factors include:
► Being a current or former smoker
► Having chronic lung disease, such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
► Having a weakened immune system from diseases like cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure
► Taking medication that weakens your immune system
Legionella Are Usually Spread through Water Droplets
in the Air
In nature, Legionella live in fresh water and rarely cause illness. In man-made settings, Legionella can grow if water is not properly maintained. These manmade
water sources become a health problem when small droplets of water that contain the bacteria get into the air and people breathe them in. In rare cases, someone breathes in Legionella while they are drinking water and it “goes down the wrong pipe” into the lungs. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people.
To learn more visit: https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html