I developed asthma after I contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

I have auto-immune vitiligo and hypothyroidism. I would like to know why after contracting Legionnaires’ disease while on holiday in France and admitted to ICU on my return to England, where I was placed on life support, and three months later developed asthma/COPD though prior to infection suffered nothing. Asthma is prevalent in my family, my brother died from it after late onset at 31 – died at 41. Is this indicative of my future! My hair has fallen out in immense quantities, but I have slowly regained strength. I find my memory is a little troubling in that I forget, names etc.

Numerous patients with Legionnaires’ disease have asked why they developed asthma shortly thereafter. We have no clear-cut explanation, but we have never seen the development of asthma in our patients and it is not reported in the medical literature. Nevertheless, given the number of queries on this issue, we formulated a questionnaire to be completed by the physicians of these patients; this questionnaire included medical history and documentation of the asthma as well as confirmation of Legionnaires’ disease. Over the next 3 years, we continued to receive such queries from patients, and asked these patients to give the questionnaire to their physicians. We received a not a single documenting questionnaire from a physician.