About the Disease
Legionnaires' disease is a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia. It's caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila found in both potable and nonpotable water systems. Each year, an estimated 10,000 to 18,000 people are infected with the Legionella bacteria in the United States.
It is not uncommon for patients with Legionnaires' disease to be admitted to the intensive care unit. Some will suffer long-term impaired health-related quality of life. A study of outbreak survivors showed persistence of fatigue (75%), neurologic symptoms (66%) and neuromuscular symptoms (63%) in months after an outbreak. See Share Your Story for a first-hand account of the severity of this disease.
In Our Opinion
Whats New in Legionnaires' Disease
In Our Opinion includes articles and information we highlight as well as commentary on published peer-reviewed articles and current topics.
Legionnaires' Disease in Children
by Yael Shachor-Meyouhas
Legionella has not been a prominent pathogen in children with pneumonia. The discovery of Legionnaires' disease as a community-acquired pneumonia in immunocompetent (healthy) children occurred fortuitously.