Legionnaires’ disease is simply a severe form of pneumonia that is caused by a kind of bacteria referred as Legionella bacteria. A Legionella bacterium is naturally found in fresh water. It is normally spread by an individual breathing in mist which contains the bacteria.
You are also likely to suffer from the disorder if you come into contact with contaminated water that is aspirated. This write- up will focus on discussing about things you should know about Legionnaires’ disease.
What are Some of the Common Sources of Infection of Legionnaires’ disease?
Since the bacterium is found natural in freshwater environments such as streams and lakes, it can easily become a health concern when it ends up growing and spreading in human- made water systems like;
- Large plumbing systems
- Heaters and hot water tanks
- Cooling towers of large air conditioners and faucets
- Hot tubs which are not drained after being used
How Does Legionnaire’s’ disease Spread?
Once the bacterium grows, it multiplies easily in building water systems. The bacterium comes into contact with water and spreads in droplets. A person can end up getting Legionnaires’ disease when he or she breathes in small droplets of water in the air which has the bacteria.
Despite not being a common factor, people can also suffer from the disorder by aspiration of drinking water. Generally, this can occur when water accidentally fails to pass through the digestive tract and instead passes through the windpipe (trachea) and lungs.
What are Some of the Symptoms Associated with Legionnaires’ disease?
Initial signs of Legionnaires’ disease normally include flu- like symptoms like;
- Changes to a person’s mental state i.e. he or she becomes confused
- High temperature (fever), often 100.4 F (38C) or above
- Mild headaches
- Muscle pain
Once the bacteria starts infecting the patient’s lungs he or she is likely to experience symptoms of pneumonia like the following:
- A persistent cough that is often dry and first
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
What are Some of the Treatment Options of Legionnaires’ disease?
The disorder is treated normally with a course of antibiotics like clarithromycin and erythromycin. Basically, the antibiotics are supposed to be taken as a capsule or a tablet, or via a continuous drip into a particular vein in the patient’s arm.
How Can you Prevent the Spread of the Disorder?
Preventing the spread of the disease will require you to make sure that any water system that is under your control is maintained properly and it conforms to relevant safety and health regulations.
Last, but definitely not least, since prevention is considered better than cure, once you experience any symptom associated with the disease, kindly ensure that you seek for the assistant of a qualified physician so that you can be advised appropriately. Thank you.