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Legionella


Legionella is a bacteria that can cause an infection called Legionellosis. This infection has two forms of illness- Legionnaire’s disease, a severe illness causing pneumonia, and Pontiac fever, a milder illness.

Where may Legionella bacteria be found?

Legionella is mainly found in water, but can also be found in soil. It tends to be in areas where there are warmer temperatures and can be located in slime layers inside of pipes, reservoirs or tanks that are used infrequently.

This may include:
  • Shower heads or faucets
  • Hot Tubs or whirlpools
  • Cooling Towers
  • Fish Tanks
  • Humidifiers
  • Steam Tables
How is Legionella spread?

A person may get legionellosis from breathing in water droplets that have the Legionella bacteria. It is not spread from person to person.
Legionellosis is more likely to occur in people over 50, or those with weakened immune systems such as patients with lung disease, organ transplants, or cancer.

What are the symptoms of Legionellosis?

Symptoms start 2-10 days after exposure and may include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pneumonia
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Cough
How do I get tested or treated for Legionellosis?

If you think you may have Legionnaire’s Disease, please contact your primary healthcare provider.

How can I prevent Legionellosis?
Proper maintenance of water systems is the best way to prevent legionellosis. It is important to clean and disinfect devices according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Hot tubs are the perfect temperature for the legionella bacteria to grow. Proper maintenance of hot tubs and their chemical levels can prevent legionella bacteria from growing.


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