Legionnaires disease is an infection of the lungs that is a severe form of pneumonia. A person can develop Legionnaires disease by inhaling water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The mortality rate in infected individuals ranges between 10 – 20%. Symptoms are non-specific and may include a flu-like illness, followed by a dry cough, which progresses to a lower respiratory tract infection and pneumonia. NICD.
One can become infected by breathing in water droplets containing the Legionella bacteria. These water droplets are created by spraying or bubbling air through the water in which the bacteria are present. The water contaminated Legionella affects many man-made water systems including:
- Hot and cold water systems
- Cooling towers and evaporative condensers
- Air conditioning units
- Commercial spa pools and jacuzzis