Legionellosis – United States
18 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease were detected in Harlem, NYC, United States.
An investigation of this outbreak found the infectious bacteria in NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem waterways.
18 cases, all were hospitalized, and 16 have been discharged, no deaths have been recorded so far.
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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