Legionnaires disease is a serious lung infection caused by a bacteria called legionella. There are many different types of this bacteria but the one found to cause the majority of cases is called Legionella pneumophilia serogroup 1.
Around the World Legionella pneumophilia serogroup 1 causes over 90% of all reported infections of Legionnaires disease.
How is Legionnaires disease Transmitted?
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia and can be fatal in some cases. It is important to remember that it is not spread from person to person but instead is caught by inhaling very fine water droplets, in the form of an aerosol from a water source contaminated with Legionella bacteria. This contaminated water source could be something as simple as a domestic shower, a cooling tower, air conditioning unit or even a hot tub.
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious condition and can result in death if it is not diagnosed and treated correctly. However around 90% of people who get the disease do eventually make a full recovery, although some experts believe that this figure may be under-reported.
What are the Symptoms of Legionnaires Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease can present with a variety of symptoms. However it is quite common that people assume they have flu when they first get symptoms.
Headaches, muscle pain, tiredness and a temperature are all typical of Legionnaires’ disease, and they can also commonly occur with the flu. However once the bacteria start to spread and the disease progresses, shortness of breath may also be experienced. A loss of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting are also symptoms. This will occur as the bacteria attack the lungs. An ongoing cough and chest pains might also be experienced, warranting a visit to your doctor as soon as possible.
Who is “At Risk” from Legionnaires?
The disease is more serious in people who have a pre-existing medical condition.
Men, smokers and heavy drinkers are also at increased risk. In these people there is a greater chance the disease will present in a more serious way. Older people over the age of 50 are also at greater risk of developing a more serious form of the disease.
The treatments for Legionnaires disease currently available to medics are antibiotics and these will help to kill the bacteria.
The seriousness of the disease and overall mortality rates are significantly reduced if correct diagnosis and treatment are started quickly. It is therefore important to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have contracted Legionnaires’ disease.
World Class Legionnaires’ Risk Management Solutions
Water Treatment Services are a leading independent UK water management company offering expert solutions for the control of Legionnaires’ disease including water treatment and disinfection services, water sampling, laboratory testing and full engineering support services.
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Contact us today to learn how our Legionnaires’ management solutions can ensure your risks are managed and controlled effectively, and the required regulatory compliance standards in this safety critical area are achieved… contact us →
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