Legionellosis – United States

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Four Legionellosis hospitalized cases confirmed in Bangor area of Maine.

Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches of the four individuals.

All four patients are hospitalized. The Maine CDC is looking in to see if there is a common exposure amongst all the cases, although nothing is found as of now.

Generally, Legionellosis cases are on the rise in the country with people above the age of 50 at an increased risk of exposure along with current or former smokers, people with lung conditions or weak immune systems.

Photo: Electron micrograph of L. pneumophila, responsible for over 90% of Legionnaire disease cases.

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.

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