Legionella pneumonia, Legionnaires disease and legionellosis are all terms used to describe one potentially deadly bacterial infection. The bacteria legionella pneumophila most often causes this life threatening infectious disease.
- chest pain
- appetite loss
- very high fever
- gastrointestinal issues ~ nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
Legionnaires’ disease occasionally cause infections in wounds and in other parts of the body, i.e. the heart.
Pontiac fever, a mild form of legionellosis, typically only cause symptoms like:
- muscle aches
These symptoms usually clear up in under a week.
Legionella type bacteria do well in warm, damp environments. And can survive for months within:
- hot springs
- cruise ships
- whirlpool spas
- water systems
- air conditioning systems
The legionella pneumophila levels in natural environments are typically too low to cause health problems. Historically, most legionellosis outbreaks result from warm, moist, air conditioning systems in large buildings.
You’re more likely to be infected by legionella pneumophila if you:
- have HIV/AIDS
- use a ventilator
- have weakened immune system
- job maintaining air conditioning systems
- chronic lung disease ~ emphysema, COPD
- serious condition ~ diabetes, kidney disease, cancer
- on chemotherapy, corticosteroids, transplant anti-rejection drugs
When not treated promptly, Legionnaires’ disease can lead to:
All can cause an end to your life.
Legionella pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you receive treatment the less likely you’ll experience lingering health issues, serious complications or death.
Pontiac fever requires no treatment and causes no lasting health concerns.