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  • Lisamarie Lamb

Symptoms Of Legionnaires Disease To Look Out For

Legionnaires' disease is an infection that happens when you breathe in tiny droplets of water that have legionella bacteria on them. It is a very bad type of pneumonia that can kill. Find out more about legionnaires' disease and how to spot the signs of it.

Even though Legionnaires' disease is rare, about 200-250 confirmed cases are found each year in the UK. The death rate is about 10% for people who are healthy and up to 40% for people who are vulnerable.

How do you catch Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnaires' disease is spread through inhalation of water droplets from a water supply tainted with legionella bacteria.

Legionnaires' disease is typically spread not through ingesting contaminated water but through inhaling droplets containing the bacterium.

Natural water sources may contain legionella bacteria, but often at such low concentrations that they do not pose a threat to human health. But if the bacteria pollute and thrive in water systems, it can become a concern.

Where could you get Legionnaires' disease?

Legionella bacteria could potentially thrive in any system that provides water to the public. Especially in places where water is kept at warm enough temperatures for legionella bacteria to multiply.

The water systems in major buildings like hospitals, hotels, and businesses might potentially serve as breeding grounds for the bacteria if not properly maintained.

Keep in mind that the legionella bacteria that causes legionnaires' disease is spread through inhalation. The infectious disease can be transmitted using any device capable of producing a thin spray of water.

What are the symptoms of Legionnaires' disease?

Symptoms of legionnaires' disease include:

Unrelenting coughing fits

Difficulty with breathing

Sore muscles and joints


Sharp ache in the chest

An aching head

Soaring temperatures

Experiencing heat and chills

A severe case of the flu-like symptoms

Pneumonia (when illness develops)

Diarrhoea (occasionally)

Symptoms of cognitive dissonance (occasionally)

Exposure to polluted water is not expected to cause these symptoms immediately, as the disease can take days or weeks to develop and worsens with time.

What should you do if you think you have Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnaires' disease is difficult to identify since its symptoms are similar to those of the flu. If you think you have legionnaire's disease, you should see a doctor immediately. Be sure to mention any recent stays in high-risk establishments like hotels and spas.

A blood or urine test could be used to make the diagnosis, and you may end up needing to get checked out in the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

The source of an outbreak of legionnaires' disease must be determined once the symptoms have been recognised and the disease has been diagnosed.

You are required to notify your employer if you believe you have contracted the sickness as a result of your work.

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