Legionnaires’ Disease Confirmed in New York
There have been two cases of Legionnaires’ disease confirmed by the Onondaga County Health Department (New York).
The health commissioner, Dr Cynthia Morrow, is reported to say the two cases do not seem to be related. One of the cases involves a patient at the Van Duyn Nursing Home.
Onondaga County has between 5-15 cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year.
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. It is caused by the bacteria Legionella. Each year, between 8,000 to 18,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease. Most occur in the summer and early fall, but it can happen any time of year.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are similar to other forms of pneumonia and include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body.
Legionnaires' disease can be very serious. Death occurs in up to 5% to 30% of cases. Most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics.