Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak: What Is It and What Are the Symptoms?

Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak: What Is It and What Are the Symptoms?

Last week, the New York Health Department warned of a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak.  Since mid-July, 31 have been sickened with the illness and seven have died.

Legionnaire’s disease is a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system– similar to pneumonia. Legionnaire’s is spread through mist that comes from cooling towers, air conditioners, showers, hot tubs, fountains, etc. The illness is not spread through person-to-person contact.  The illness is spread when people inhale the infected water mist or vapors.

“We are conducting a swift investigation to determine the source of the outbreak and prevent future cases. I urge anyone with symptoms to seek medical attention right away,” said Dr. Mary Bassett, commissioner of the New York City health department.

Symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease include fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches and a cough.