Legionnaires disease symptoms or flu virus?

Legionnaires’ Disease Symptoms or Flu Virus – What are the Differences?

If you are familiar with Legionnaires’ disease symptoms, you may know that the initial signs of infection are much the same as those of the more common flu virus. When you catch the flu you’ll feel achy and tired, not to mention experiencing a headache, a high temperature and potentially a fever. Alarmingly you can also experience every one of these symptoms if you have contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

What is Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a rare but serious infection of the lung. Most people who contract the disease eventually make a full recovery, although it can be very serious for some and fatal under certain circumstances.

Unlike the flu which is a virus, Legionnaires’ disease is caused by bacteria (Legionella bacteria). Additionally, Legionnaires’ disease is not spread from person to person but is caught by inhaling fine droplets of water that have been contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

How can you tell the difference between Legionnaires’ disease symptoms and those of the flu?

In truth you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Legionnaires’ disease and the flu at an early stage of infection. However, a more serious case of Legionnaires’ disease will likely cause shortness of breath and possibly confusion as well. Loss of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting are also symptoms. If you suspect you have the flu and start to experience these symptoms as well, you should definitely see your GP as soon as you can.

Telling the difference through diagnosis

The main way to identify whether you have flu or Legionnaires’ disease is to be tested for the latter. Tests for Legionnaires’ disease may involve blood tests, urine tests and possibly a chest x-ray to look for signs of an infection. These can all come back positive to flag the potential presence of Legionnaires’ disease in your system. If that’s the case then you would be promptly treated for Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionnaires’ disease is a rare but serious infection of the lung. Most people who contract the disease eventually make a full recovery, although it can be very serious for some and fatal under certain circumstances.

Ideally you would need to be treated as soon as possible if you do have Legionnaires’ disease. This would help to prevent, or at least limit the potential for the infection to become more serious, or for you to suffer after-effects. But since you may simply assume you have caught the flu, this can sometimes be hard to do.

Do you work in an area where Legionella bacteria might present itself?

This is important to note because it could help distinguish regular flu-like symptoms from those that could be caused by water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. If you know you have been near a water source that could harbour Legionella bacteria and your symptoms have appeared since this time, contact your GP immediately. Tell them where you have been and that you have the symptoms that could suggest Legionnaires’ disease as a possibility.

Legionnaires’ disease in the UK

It is important to remember that Legionnaires’ disease is very rare in the UK today. Most people who do contract the disease will survive. Obviously the sooner you are able to recognise the symptoms, the sooner you can begin treatment for the disease and the better the outcome is likely to be. Some who survive are left with some degree of health problems afterwards. However many will be fine.

In short, if you are in doubt about whether you have contracted the flu or the more serious Legionnaires’ disease, contact your doctor and express your concerns as soon as you can.

Legionella Control Experts

Water Treatment Services offer a comprehensive range of Legionella control and specialist environmental hygiene solutions including water treatment services for the control of Legionella bacteria, Legionella risk assessments, training courses and water testing for the control of Legionnaires’ disease, Legionella, Pseudomonas and other waterborne pathogens in the workplace.

With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained engineers, in-field site service specialists and technical experts we can offer professional, cost effective Legionella risk management and ACOP L8 compliance solutions across the whole of the UK.

Contact us today to learn how our expert Legionella control and environmental risk management support solutions can help improve what you do… contact us →

Further Reading…

More information about Legionnaires’ disease… here →

Summary
Legionella Awareness Training and Responsible Person Courses
Article Name
Legionella Awareness Training and Responsible Person Courses
Description
If you are familiar with Legionnaires’ disease symptoms, you may know that the initial signs of infection are much the same as those of the more common flu virus.
Author
Publisher Name
Water Treatment Services
Publisher Logo