Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak In Alabama Kills Elderly Woman: 5 Things To Know About Legionella Bacteria

Health officials have connected the death of an elderly woman in northwest Alabama on Thursday to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a serious and life-threatening type of pneumonia. According to the Associated Press, there were 13 lab-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ at a nursing home in Florence, a city 206 miles north of Montgomery.

The death of the 80-year-old woman, who was not named, marks the first death associated with the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the center. She died Thursday in a hospital in Tuscaloosa.

Authorities identified the outbreak of Legionnaires’ earlier this month. Health officials determined the center of the outbreak to be a northwest Alabama nursing home, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. The exact source of the disease is still under investigation.

Ten of the 13 people infected with Legionnaires’ disease were residents of the northwest Alabama nursing home belonging to Glenwood Healthcare. The three others, including the woman who died on Thursday, were visitors to the home.

Legionnaires’ disease was first coined in 1976 when 34 people were killed at a convention in Philadelphia of the American Legion, a veterans’ organization that includes members of the U.S. armed forces.

More than 2,000 people, mostly men, attended the convention. Two hundred were sickened by the outbreak. Health investigators traced the cause of the infections to a bacterium called Legionella, which circulated through the convention hotel’s air conditioning system.

In August of this year, Ohio experienced its largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease when five people were killed and 39 others became sick at a retirement community in Reynoldsburg. Victims of the outbreak at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community ranged in age from 63 to 99, according to the Associated Press…

Original article at: http://www.ibtimes.com/legionnaires-disease-outbreak-alabama-kills-elderly-woman-5-things-know-about-legionella-bacteria