Disease Specific

Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ Disease

Recently there were 92 people who were in a hot tub in Tennessee that had an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease.  

Legionnaires Disease is caused by a bacteria called Legionella pneumophila.   Legionella is found naturally in fresh water, it is when the water source is warm enough to facilitate/help growth/multiplication of the bacteria.  

Legionnaires’ Disease can live in warm water like hot tubs, swimming pools and reportedly from the CDC humidifiers.  The key to avoiding this is to make sure whatever you are going to use is clean!

Legionnaires Disease is spread when people breathe in the small water droplets containing the legionella bacteria.  Occasionally, people may take contaminated water into their lungs by “it going down the wrong pipe”.

Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires Disease- which is a form of pneumonia.  But it also may cause something caused “Pontiac Fever”, which is usually less severe illness resembling the flu.

The incubation period/symptom for either Legionnaires or Pontiac Fever appearance is usually within a few days to 10 days.  

The symptoms may appear as:

High fever

Body aches



Cough or shortness of breath


People who are healthy usually do not get Legionnaires Disease.  People at risk are people who:

Have a chronic illness- example: kidney disease, lung disease, liver disease, transplant recipients or have diabetes

Also: people with cancer, compromised immune systems, ex smokers and people over the age of 50.


Pontiac Fever-generally will resolve on its own.

Legionnaires Disease-requires treatment with antibiotics from your physician or practitioner.


If you have questions or concerns regarding Legionella pneumophila, please consult your physician or practitioner.



***********This information is intended for educational purposes only, it is not to be utilized as medical advice*********


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