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Legionellosis – Signs and Symptoms

Legionellosis

severe and fatal water borne infection which is caused by the aerobic, gram negative bacteria belongs the to Legionella genus. Nearly 90% of the

legionellosis

infection cases are primarily due to Legionella pneumophila. This bacterial agent is an aquatic microorganism that survives in a temperature range of 25-45 degree Celsius. The optimum temperature is 35 degree Celsius. Read on to know more about the

signs and symptoms of legionellosis

.

The water borne infection has two different forms which include:

  • Pontiac fever

    – This is caused by the same bacterial agent, although it results in a milder respiratory disease without pneumonia. This almost resembles acute influenza.

  • Legionnaires’ disease

    – This disease is also called ‘Legion fever’. This is a severe form of the water borne infection and leads to pneumonia.

History of Legionellosis

The waterborne infection was named after a severe outbreak of pneumonia in July 1976. This outbreak occurred in those who were attending a convention in Philadelphia. The convention was called American Legion. The bacterial causative agent was first identified in January 18, 1977 and named Legionella.

Sign and Symptoms of Legionellosis

Patients afflicted with legionellosis generally experience symptoms like cough (dry or along with sputum), chills and fever. A few patients may also have following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of coordination (ataxia)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pains

The laboratory tests may exhibit that the afflicted patients’ electrolytes, liver functions and renal functions are damaged, which includes hyponatremia. Also, chest X-rays may show pneumonia with a bi-basal consolidation. It is very difficult to differentiate legionellosis from the other forms of pneumonia by radiologic findings or symptoms alone. Hence, other tests are important for a complete diagnosis legionellosis.

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