CHP Investigates a Legionnaires’ Disease Case

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 21) investigating a case of Legionnaires’ Disease involving a 67-year-old man.

The patient, with underlying illnesses, presented with fever, cough, shortness of breath and malaise since December 16. He was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on December 18 and was transferred to Intensive Care Unit the next day. He is in stable condition now.

Test on his nasopharyngeal aspirate specimen revealed that the patient was infected with Legionella bacteria.

He had travelled to the Mainland between December 10 and 11. His close contacts were asymptomatic. Investigation is in progress.

Information on Legionnaires’ Disease and advice on prevention can be found at the CHP’s website,

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Legionnaire’s Cases Increase In Md. County

FREDERICK, Md. — Frederick County health officials said the number of cases of Legionnaire’s disease is higher than in the last five years, but it’s still relatively low.

Darlene Armacost, the program manager for communicable disease and preparedness at the Frederick County Health Department, said eight cases have been diagnosed this year.

Statewide, 131 cases have been reported so far this year.

Armacost said it’s not clear what caused the increase.

The bacterium Legionella grows in water and can be found in community living settings, air-conditioning systems or shower heads. Older people and those with weak immune systems are most at risk.

In the past week, the Howard County Health Department reported the death of an elderly man at an Ellicott City senior home.

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More Legionnaires’ Cases Diagnosed

NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco County public health authorities are trying to determine what may have caused three cases of Legionnaires’ disease.

Two cases were diagnosed on the same street in Port Richey.

“We just heard of a third case that’s in a different location four miles away,” said Dr. David Johnson, director of the Pasco County Health Department.

The three cases follow last week’s outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Plant City. Three people were diagnosed to the bacterial infection in the Meadows Countrywood neighborhood last week.

One of the patients died. Initially the Hillsborough County Health Department suspected a community hot tub may have been the source of the illness. That has since been ruled out.

No known cause has been identified.

“Sometimes the cause jumps right out at you,” Pasco’s Dr. Johnson said. “But often the cause is never found,” he added.

There is no common connection between Pasco County’s three cases, except from location. Two of the patients live on the same street. The third lives nearby.

The cause could be as simple as a dirty shower head. People who live near one of the Port Richey patients say he was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance.

Johnson suggests not waiting that long for anyone who feels ill.

“If you have symptoms, if you’re developing a fever and cough you need to get in and see your doctor,” he said.

Legionnaires’ Disease comes from bacteria usually found in water. The bacteria that causes it thrives in warm and wet environments, and people contract the disease by breathing in contaminated water vapor.

“It is not contracted person to person,” explained FOX 13’s Dr. Joette Giovinco. “However, if several people were exposed to the same source, then many of those people may get sick, depending on their health.”

More information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

Original Article on My Fox Tampa Bay

Eight in Turtle Creek get Legionnaires’ disease

UPDATE on Turtle Creek Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak.

Eight people living at the LGAR Health & Rehabilitation Center in Turtle Creek contracted Legionnaires’ disease, an Allegheny County Health Department official said Tuesday.

Legionnaires’ disease, caused by a bacteria called Legionella, mimics pneumonia and can cause a high fever, chills, a cough, muscle aches and headaches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bruce Dixon, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, said no one has died and the center is taking extra precautions to prevent it from spreading.

Dr. Dixon said the center has switched to using bottled water and is using a heavy metal iron system hospitals employ to prevent the spread of the bacteria.

He said Legionella often spreads when facilities install systems to prevent water from scalding people, causing it to lower in temperature and sometimes become tepid. He said he did not know what caused the Legionella to appear in the LGAR facility.

Representatives for LGAR could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

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5 Workers Get Legionnaires’ Disease At Owego Plant

Owego, N.Y. – Five workers at a shredding facility in Owego have come down with legionnaires’ disease.

It’s a type of pneumonia that can be fatal. It was named after an American Legion Convention in Philadelphia when many who attended contracted it.

The local cases have taken place since 2009 at the Upstate Shredding plant on Route 38 in Owego.

The legionnaires’ disease bacteria was found in pools of standing water near the shredder where the affected employees worked. None of the workers died from their illness.

The standing water pools have been eliminated and other precautions have also been taken.

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Confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease at St. Ann’s Community in Rochester, NY

It’s a bacterial disease that could cause pneumonia and the water at St. Ann’s in Rochester along with one of their residents have tested positive for it.

It’s called Legionnaires’ disease and it’s the first time in more than 25 years that the home has dealt with it.

News 10NBC is told that the one individual who was infected with Legionnaires has been treated and is fully recovered. Now the New York State Health Department is working closely with St. Ann’s home to develop a plan for making sure their water is safe again.

In the meantime, the home is only using bottled water for drinking and hygiene. The health department has supplied them with soap for bathing that doesn’t require water.

Medical Director Dr. Diane Kane said that per the recommendation of the health department, they are installing filters on all shower heads in the building to keep the bacteria out.

Dr. Kane can not say exactly when the resident learned he was infected with the disease but it is standard procedure with the health department that as soon as someone is infected, the water is tested.

St. Ann’s water supply tested positive for Legionnaires last Thursday.

The bacteria is actually very common and only causes problems in people with compromised immune systems but with the average age at St. Ann’s at 89, the at risk category includes almost everyone.

Dr. Kane said, “Just the word is scary to people but I think what we have to do is take a step back and put it in perspective. And by that I mean again it’s a ubiquitous organism quite honestly if you go out there and you test water and you test soil, guess what? You’re probably gonna find it and it’s not until someone comes down with Legionnaires’ disease that you go looking for it.”

Legionnaires is not a contagious disease. It is only contracted through direct exposure to the infected water.

Officials from St. Ann’s say that because the man who was infected frequently leaves the home on weekends to visit family and friends, they don’t know whether he was infected at St. Ann’s or somewhere else.

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US says Legionnaires cases triple over decade

ATLANTA (AP) — Cases of Legionnaires’ disease have tripled in the last decade, U.S. health officials said Thursday, but the risk of dying from it is lower because of more effective treatment.

Legionnaires most often strikes the elderly and can cause deadly pneumonia. The germ spreads through mist or vapor from contaminated water or air conditioning systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 3,522 cases in 2009, the most since Legionnaires was first identified in 1976. There were only 1,110 cases in 2000. CDC officials think the increase may be partly because there are more old people.

To be sure, Legionnaires remains uncommon. Just 8 percent of its victims died in the last decade, compared to 20 percent in the 1980s and 1990s. But it still kills hundreds of Americans each year. Despite the low case count, experts believe the disease sickens and even hospitalizes thousands every year whose cases aren’t reported.

The increase in cases is worrisome, said study co-author Dr. Lee Hampton, a CDC epidemiologist. “We need to minimize the risk of people dying from this,” he said.

The disease got its name from an outbreak at a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976 when more than 200 people were sickened and 34 died. The outbreak drew intense media coverage, and months later health investigators fingered the bacterial cause. The germ apparently had spread through the convention hotel’s air-conditioning system.

Early signs of the disease can include high fever, chills and a cough. Fortunately, some of the drugs most commonly used against pneumonia are first-line treatments against Legionnaires.

Cases of the disease held relatively steady in the 1980s-90s, but rose since 2000.

The CDC relies on doctors, hospitals and state health departments to report cases when they occur, and agency officials believe the national case count is an underestimate.

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Legionnaires’ Disease Warning Update for Bali Travelers

The Government of Western Australia Department of Health has provided an updated disease warning for Bali travelers.

The Department of Health has been notified of two additional Western Australians who have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following travel to Bali.

There have now been 13 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Australians associated with the central area in Kuta since August 2010; 9 from Western Australia.

Communicable Disease Control Director, Dr Paul Armstrong, said while the exact source of the disease remained unknown, all but one of the cases had stayed at the Ramayana Resort and Spa Hotel in the central Kuta area.

“The Indonesian Government has been advised of the Australian cases by the Australian Government, and is working with the World Health Organisation to investigate the possible source of the disease,” Dr Armstrong said.

“The investigating team has taken steps to disinfect potential sources at the hotel, but it is not yet clear that this has been successful,” he said.

Dr Armstrong said the early symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are typically similar to severe ‘flu-like’ illness.
“Early symptoms may include fever, chills, muscle soreness, headaches, tiredness, reduced appetite and diarrhoea, along with dry cough and breathlessness,” Dr Armstrong said.

The Department of Health is advising Western Australians who have recently returned from Bali, and have developed flu-like symptoms within 10 days of their return, to contact their GP.

“Legionnaires’ disease is treated with specific antibiotics, and while most people recover, some people may develop severe pneumonia requiring hospitalisation.”

Legionnaires’ disease most often affects middle-aged and elderly people, particularly those who smoke or who have lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease or a weakened immune system.

Legionella pneumophilia is a type of bacteria commonly transmitted by the inhalation of water droplets from contaminated warm water environments such as:

  • air conditioning cooling towers in large buildings and evaporative air conditioners
  • showers and warm water systems
  • spa pools
  • misting or droplet sprays
  • fountains

Legionnaires’ disease cannot be caught from other people or from animal contact.

For more information on Legionnaires’ disease visit: Legionnaires’ disease in Bali – Frequently Asked Questions.