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

Belton Man Dies from Legionnaires’ Disease

A former ship’s captain died from Legionnaires’ disease after becoming ill on a Caribbean cruise with his wife and daughter, an inquest heard.

Tore Myhra, 57, from Belton, near Great Yarmouth, died just a month after a woman who stayed on the same deck of the ship ‘Liberty of the Seas’ passed away from an identical strain of the disease.

But yesterday’s Norwich inquest heard that it was impossible to say for certain whether Mr Myhra had contracted the disease on the ship.

The inquest heard that an outbreak of the disease had occurred at the same time at the Epic hotel in Miami where Mr Myhra and family had stayed before they boarded the ship.

Legionnaires’ disease causes a serious pneumonia (lung infection), which you contract by breathing in droplets of water which contain Legionella bacteria.

Mr Myhra, wife Sue and daughter Layna had stayed for two nights at the Epic hotel before the Royal Caribbean cruise lines ship sailed on October 24, 2009.

The inquest heard that Mr Myhra started feeling unwell on October 29 and was hospitalised on the ship.

When it disembarked at the end of the cruise, he was taken as an emergency to the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and subsequently legionella.

His condition deteriorated and he died on November 1 while his wife and daughter were at the departures lounge at the airport, where the girl was due to fly home while Mrs Myhra stayed with her husband at the hospital.

A post mortem examination was carried out and the cause of death was given as legionella pneumophila pneumonia…

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