Photo of a human chest and lungs with an illustration of Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires’ Disease is a severe form of pneumonia that sickens about 18,000 people in the U.S. each year. It’s caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. Scientists first identified it in 1977. That was 6 months after a mysterious outbreak sickened 180 and claimed the lives of 29 people attending an American Legion convention at a Philadelphia hotel.

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Hospitalizations

The CDC estimates that as many as 18,000 people are hospitalized annually with the disease.

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The Source

It's caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila found in both potable and nonpotable water systems. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by inhaling or aspirating small droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria.

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Symptoms

Legionella bacteria trigger pneumonia. Symptoms include a high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches and headaches.

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Long-Term Effects

Studies have shown long-term effects such as persistence of fatigue, neurologic symptoms and neuromuscular symptoms in months after contracting the disease.

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Risk

Smokers, the elderly, and those with chronic lung disease or suppressed immune systems are more likely to become infected but healthy people may also be at risk.

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Prevention

Keeping Legionella out of water systems in buildings is key to preventing infection. Copper Silver Ionization has proven to be one of the most effective technologies for controlling Legionella in water systems.

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