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Legionnaires Disease

Usama Aftab provides an overview of Legionnaires Disease and how it spreads.

Legionnaires disease is like pneumonia, but it is the most severe form. Moreover, it also caused lung inflammation caused by the legionella bacterium. Most people are infected with this disease by inhaling this bacterium from soil or water. People with low immune systems, older and smokers, can easily affect this disease. This bacterium can cause Pontiac fever which is like the flu. However, this flu can clear on its own, but it is essential to treat this disease. A doctor can quickly treat this disease with antibiotics, but in some people, it can cause problems even after the treatment. That is why; a water quality analysis is vital to detect this bacteria in water.


When a person exposes to this bacterium, it takes about ten days to develop the disease. It has the following common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Aches

Symptoms after three days

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Cough
  • Chest Pain
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms
  • Mental Changes

Legionnaires primarily affect the lungs of the patients. However, it can also cause infections in other parts of the body. On the other hand, Pontiac fever symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle Aches

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you should see a doctor. So, the doctor can diagnose and treat this disease ASAP. If you see the doctor immediately, then you can prevent complications and can also help shorten the recovery time.

Causes of This Disease

As we mentioned earlier, legionnaires are caused by exposure to the legionella bacterium. This bacterium can survive in water and soil but does not cause any infection. It can multiply itself in water systems and air conditioners. That is why; it is vital to test the water samples from these water systems for the presence of this bacteria. Water systems in large buildings are very complex and an excellent place for bacteria to grow.

How It Spreads

The bacterium that causes this disease can be spread from a whirlpool, shower, faucet, and water from the ventilation system. The outbreak was linked to:

  • Cooling Towers
  • Hot Tubs
  • Heaters
  • Fountains
  • Birthday Pools
  • Swimming Pools
  • Drinking-Water

The infection can also be spread through:

  • Many people are infected with this disease while working in contaminated soil and working in a garden.
  • It can also be spread when liquid enters your lungs during a choke or cough. If the liquid contains the virus, then it can develop legionnaire.

Risk Factors

There are high chances of developing this infection if you:

  • A chain smoker. Because smoking can damage your lungs and can cause many lung infections
  • Have a weak immune system or have a chronic lung disease
  • Are older than 50 years of age

How Can You Prevent It?

This disease is fatal but preventable. However, you need to monitor and clean the water in the water management systems of the large buildings. These water management systems in large buildings are involved, which makes them an excellent place for bacteria.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • AFTAB, U. (2019) Legionnaires Disease [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Usama Aftab is a Blogger, Blog writer, and SEO Agency owner who loves to write on different topics like Tech, Travel, Business, Health & Sports.