Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

DNA testing can rapidly solve Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

A DNA test method called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allowed New York City health officials to identify the source of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak within hours of specimen collection and should be considered in all ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Legionnaires' disease bacteria found at hotel; one guest died

The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease was found in rooms of a hotel in a popular Missouri tourist town associated with Mark Twain, and health officials said Tuesday that one of three people who contracted the disease ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Death toll rises to seven from NY Legionnaires' disease

An outbreak of Legionnaires disease in New York has killed seven people and infected 86 others, as the city moved Tuesday to draw up new legislation to halt future outbreaks.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Record 108 contract Legionnaires disease in New York

The number of people diagnosed with Legionnaires disease has risen to 108 as America's largest city suffers from a record outbreak of the form of pneumonia, authorities said Saturday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The summer risk of Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' disease is the disease is caused by bacterium called Legionella, which is found most often in fresh water. Symptoms include pneumonia and, in some cases, the infection can be deadly.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why are people still dying from Legionnaires' disease?

In the nearly 50 years since epidemiologists first discovered Legionnaires' disease, we have learned how to test for it, treat it and prevent it. So why are people still dying from it and why are more and more people becoming ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Q&A: Legionnaires' disease adds to water concerns in Flint

A water crisis in Flint has focused mostly on the impact of drinking supplies containing lead that had leached from old plumbing after the city switched sources to save money. But Michigan officials stunned the community ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Legionnaires' disease outbreak linked to Atlanta hotel

Legionnaires' disease has been diagnosed in 11 people who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta, and there have been another 55 probable cases, Georgia health officials say.

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Legionellosis is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by gram negative, aerobic bacteria belonging to the genus Legionella. Over 90% of legionellosis cases are caused by Legionella pneumophila, a ubiquitous aquatic organism that thrives in temperatures between 25 and 45 °C (77 and 113 °F), with an optimum temperature of 35 °C (95 °F).

Legionellosis takes two distinct forms:

Legionnaires' disease acquired its name in July 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia occurred among people attending a convention of the American Legion at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. On January 18, 1977 the causative agent was identified as a previously unknown strain of bacteria, subsequently named Legionella. Some people can be infected with the Legionella bacteria and have only mild symptoms or no illness at all.

Outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease receive significant media attention. However, this disease usually occurs as single, isolated cases not associated with any recognized outbreak. When outbreaks do occur, they are usually in the summer and early autumn, though cases may occur at any time of year. The fatality rate of Legionnaires' disease has ranged from 5% to 30% during various outbreaks. "The death rate for patients who develop Legionnaire's disease while in the hospital is close to 50%, especially when antibiotics are started late," according to the NIH and U.S. National Library of Medicine service's MedlinePlus. Most infections occur in those who are middle-age or older.

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