Legionnaires’ Disease is a form of bacterial pneumonia. The symptoms of this condition get progressively worse and can include:
- High fever
- Muscle and head pain
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Chest pain and shortness of breath
Legionnaires’ Disease results in death about 10 percent of the time. A person contracts it through breathing in tiny drops of water that contain the bacteria Legionella.
Washington Post reports that most of the cases of this disease happen in buildings like hospitals, hotels and long-term care facilities, and it can also originate on cruise ships. The Post also reports that the cost of treating Legionnaires’ annually is approximately 434 million dollars.
The CDC analyzed outbreaks between 2000 and 2014 and found that about “half of outbreaks examined were the result of a single failure, such as a broken disinfection system or human error.” A lot of the cases originated in showers or hot tubs, and the “human error” includes not disinfecting these areas properly.
A large hospital in Pittsburgh had an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in 2013. Initially, a hospital official testified that the outbreak was due to an outdated water system, but evidence surfaced that suggested human error. The hospital failed to monitor its Legionella prevention equipment. Although many doctors and officials knew about the problem they were having with the bacteria Legionella, there wasn’t any evidence to suggest that they warned their patients or patients’ families. During this time, there were deaths of patients who tested positive for Legionnaires’.
If you or a loved one has been on a cruise ship, in a hotel, hospital, long-term care facility, apartment or condo (or another location with a complex water system) and contracted Legionnaires’ Disease, please contact us today.