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Legionnaires' disease

What is Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by a bacteria called Legionella. It got its name when an outbreak occurred at a convention in Philadelphia in 1976. The bacteria can be found in water sources like hot tubs, cooling towers, and large plumbing systems. When people breathe in tiny droplets of water contaminated with Legionella, they can become sick with Legionnaires' disease.



Diagnosis of Legionnaires' disease

Diagnosing Legionnaires' disease can be challenging because its symptoms are similar to other types of pneumonia. Common symptoms include high fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headaches. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. They will ask about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and may order tests like a chest X-ray or a urine test to confirm the diagnosis.



Treatment for Legionnaires' disease

If diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, it is crucial to start treatment as soon as possible. The main treatment is antibiotics, which are medications that kill bacteria. Depending on the severity of the illness, antibiotics may be given orally (by mouth) or through an intravenous (IV) line. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor, even if you start feeling better. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary for close monitoring and intravenous antibiotics.



Preventive measures for Legionnaires' disease

Preventing Legionnaires' disease involves taking certain precautions. Regular maintenance and cleaning of water systems, such as hot tubs and cooling towers, can help prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. It is also important to ensure that water heaters are set to a temperature of at least 140°F (60°C) to kill any bacteria. When using public facilities like swimming pools or hot tubs, make sure they are properly maintained and follow any posted guidelines. If you are at higher risk, such as being over 50 years old or having a weakened immune system, it is advisable to avoid hot tubs and similar water sources.



What is Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by a bacteria called Legionella. It got its name when an outbreak occurred at a convention in Philadelphia in 1976. The bacteria can be found in water sources like hot tubs, cooling towers, and large plumbing systems. When people breathe in tiny droplets of water contaminated with Legionella, they can become sick with Legionnaires' disease.



Diagnosis of Legionnaires' disease

Diagnosing Legionnaires' disease can be challenging because its symptoms are similar to other types of pneumonia. Common symptoms include high fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headaches. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. They will ask about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and may order tests like a chest X-ray or a urine test to confirm the diagnosis.



Treatment for Legionnaires' disease

If diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, it is crucial to start treatment as soon as possible. The main treatment is antibiotics, which are medications that kill bacteria. Depending on the severity of the illness, antibiotics may be given orally (by mouth) or through an intravenous (IV) line. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor, even if you start feeling better. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary for close monitoring and intravenous antibiotics.



Preventive measures for Legionnaires' disease

Preventing Legionnaires' disease involves taking certain precautions. Regular maintenance and cleaning of water systems, such as hot tubs and cooling towers, can help prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. It is also important to ensure that water heaters are set to a temperature of at least 140°F (60°C) to kill any bacteria. When using public facilities like swimming pools or hot tubs, make sure they are properly maintained and follow any posted guidelines. If you are at higher risk, such as being over 50 years old or having a weakened immune system, it is advisable to avoid hot tubs and similar water sources.



Graphic representation of Legionnaires' disease

Symptom list:

Legionnaires' disease

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Financial support

Not all of us are able to afford the treatment we need. Search your insurance coverage, or check out what charities may be able to offer you for your condition.

p.s. Just because you have insurance, that doesn't mean that charities or other organizations are not able to support you too.

Emotional support

Whether it's a free counseling session or to find someone with a similar diagnosis, these Germie approved charities might be able to help. Click to explore their offerings!

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Sources:

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