My friend with leukemia has contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

My 5 year friend got leukemia and is now in maintenance chemotherapy phase. Do you have any data about the effects of Legionella on such patients? What the best way to avoid the infection?

With the exception of hairy cell leukemia which has a disturbingly high incidence of Legionnaires’ disease, leukemia is not a major risk for Legionnaires’ disease except for the time they spend in hospitals.

The greatest risk comes from hospitals that have Legionella in the hospital drinking water, but are unaware or do not want to be informed of its presence. A few hospitals test their water supply for Legionella, and their patients are safe. Unfortunately, most do not. The CDC now recommends that hospitals in which bone marrow transplants are performed should culture their water supply. We recommend that immunosuppressed individuals not drink tap water, but water that has been sterilized by boiling and then cooled.