Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. This bacteria is generally found in fresh water. It contaminates tanks of hot water, hot tubs and cooling towers of air conditioners. It is usually caused when a person breathes mist that contains bacteria. It can also take place when contaminated water is aspirated. It doesn’t spread directly from between people and people who are exposed to it do not become infected.
The people who are more prone to this disease are people belonging to old age, people with chronic lung disease, smoking habits and people with poor immune functioning. It is recommended that people with the history of pneumonia and traveled recently should do a diagnosis of this disease. Legionnaire can be detected by urinary antigen test and sputum culture.
Legionnaire doesn’t have any specific vaccine for its prevention. This disease can be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene and good maintenance of water system and regular check on the our health. The only treatment to this disease is by giving Antibiotics. Recommended antibiotics include azithromycin, fluoroquinolones or doxycycline. Person with this disease are often required to be hospitalized for early treatment and cure of this disease.
According to the reports of New Hampshire, at least four people are contracted with these diseases. Though no definite reason behind the disease is found yet the industrial sector air conditioning units are being held responsible for it. It becomes very difficult to detect this disease as the symptoms appear 10 days after the infection of the disease.
Many people exposed to Legionella do not get sick. The disease has the ability to cause serious illness and death among the age group of 50, current or former smokers and those with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for the disease. Public health officials are warning those at increased risk to avoid the Hampton Beach area.