Legionella disease or legionellosis is a infectious disease that affects the lungs and respiratory tracts, caused by legionella pneumophila. Legionnaires Disease is a form of pneumonia. The disease is in various gradations, from light to heavy or even fatal. The risk of death is 5 to 25 percent. The incubation period, the time between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms is between two to twenty days, with an average of five to six days.
Symptoms of the Legionella diseade
Legionnaires’ Disease begins with:
- a rapidly emerging headache
- myalgia/ muscle pain
- a sick feeling/ chills
- fever above 39ºC
Other symptoms are:
- shortness of breath
- a cough
- vomiting and diarrhea
- chest pain
- confusion or other mental changes
Diagnosis of the legionella disease
Legionella disease can be diagnosed by testing urine for the presence of legionella antigens. This frequently used way is the most quickly test to identify legionella bacteria. The presence of legionella bacteria can also be tested by following:
- a blood test
- a sample of sputum or lung tissue
- to determine the severity of the long infection a x-ray of the chest
Treatment of the Legionella disease
Legionella disease is treatable with the correct antibiotics. The sooner the patient starts with the treatment the better. When the disease is not treated right or in time, the patient can be ill for a long time. And in the worst case, the disease could be fatal.
Legionella flu or Pontiac Fever is a lighter version of the disease. This variant is harmless and symptoms that will accompany them can proceed without treatment. The Legionella flu is characterized by mild flu-like symptoms for two to five days. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, and cough. Although the flu does not require immediate treatment, it is advised to contact a doctor.
Legionellosis is an infectious disease that affects the lungs and respiratory tract, caused by Legionella pneumophila. Infection occurs through the lungs and then only if infected water mist is being inhaled. For example, in showers, steam rooms, hot tubs, or by choking in contaminated water. Most people who become infected with Legionella will not get sick. Only a small proportion of people who become infected will get Legionnaires’ disease. The risk of getting sick is higher if you:
- are over 40
- are a smoker
- drink alcohol / are an alcoholic
- have a reduced resistance
There are two types of Legionellosis: Legionnaires’ Disease and Legionella flu or Pontiac Fever. The incubation period, the time between infection and the appearance of the first symptoms is between two to twenty days, with an average of five to six days.