If you or a family member have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease you should report it immediately upon diagnosis. Legionnaires’ Disease is contagious depending on how it is spread. You have a duty to inform others about it so they can take steps to avoid contracting it and so institutions where it may have originated can take steps to eradicate it before other vulnerable individuals are exposed to it.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease do not appear until 2-10 days after exposure and the disease can go virtually undetected without special laboratory tests, which are not routinely available. Prevention is the best medicine. Arm yourself with knowledge so you can avoid contracting this at best annoying, and at worst, deadly, disease.
Find answers to the most common questions about Legionnaires’ Disease below.
Legionnaires’ Disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella. It is a lung infection that causes inflammation and flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, Legionnaires’ can be fatal.
Anyone who has a weakened immune system is at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ Disease. The most susceptible groups are the elderly, smokers, and those with diabetes or another illnesses that suppresses the immune system.
Yes. There are three different types of this illness.
Travel-associated Legionnaires’ Disease. This illness is associated with travel to hotels or aboard cruise ships. It is hard to detect because travelers are typically gone by the time symptoms develop.
Community-acquired Legionnaires’ Disease. This variation is acquired in a community or public setting. It is typically spread through soil or water including hot tubs, air-conditioning units, and misters in a grocery store.
Nosocomial Legionnaires’ Disease. This is a hospital-acquired version, usually transmitted through the facility’s water supply. This is a very dangerous version of the disease simply because the people who are affected by it are already in a weakened state. This makes them more susceptible to the disease.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ Disease every year in the U.S.
Legionnaires’ Disease can mimic the flu as the early symptoms are similar. Symptoms include:
Prompt treatment is crucial to preventing the condition from worsening, which can be fatal in some severe cases.
Legionnaires’ is similar to pneumonia, but there are tests that can be used to identify the presence of the Legionella bacteria. Those include:
Legionnaire’s outbreaks can have grave consequences for individuals and families; individuals have been severely sickened and have even died as a result of Legionnaires’ Disease. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of Legionnaire’s Disease, contact the Walter Clark Legal Group. Legal protections do exist that can help you obtain compensation for the suffering you have endured.