Legionnaires disease is a form of bronchopneumonia, or a infection of the lungs. It is named after an epidemic that affected 182 people attending an American Legion convention in 1976. It is more common in men over age 40, but can affect both sexes.
Causes of Legionnaire's Disease
The cause of this infection is the bacteria, Legionella pneumophila. This bacteria is not spread between persons. The germ is transmitted through the air. In the 1976 epidemic, the germ was spread through central air-conditioning system. It has an incubation period of 2 to 10 days and can also be found in excavation sites and newly plowed soil.
Signs and Symptoms of Legionnaire's Disease
The symptoms of legionnaire's disease reflect a severe bronchopneumonia. They include malaise, headache and muscle aches. There are fever and chills, sometimes quite high. Cough develops, which may have varying amounts of sputum. Blood may appear in the sputum. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and disorientation also may occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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