Legionellosis – Canada

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Legionellosis outbreak in the east end of Montreal, Canada.

The source of legionella bacteria is unknown but several possibilities are being investigated including water cooling towers, splash pads, aqueducts, and water heaters.

10 people have been diagnosed with legionnaires’ disease and 2 people have died since mid-June.Legionnaires’ disease is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by any species of Legionella bacteria. Signs and symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains, and headaches. The symptoms often begins 2–10 days after exposure.

The bacterium is found naturally in fresh water. It can contaminate hot water tanks, hot tubs, and cooling towers of large air conditioners. It is usually spread by breathing in mist that contains the bacteria.

It typically does not spread directly between people, and most people who are exposed do not become infected.

Electron micrograph of L. pneumophila, responsible for over 90% of Legionnaires’ disease cases.

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