Cases of the possibly fatal Legionnaire’s disease have increased dramatically across the U.S.Daniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Sep 06, 2015 14:56 IST
Cases of the possibly fatal Legionnaire s disease have increased dramatically across the U.S., with case reports for the month of August more than doubling from what had been expected for that period, said health officials in the U.S. Experts in infectious disease said they could not pinpoint just one reason for a surge in the disease, but believe that there is a combination of different factors at play.
Included in that experts believe is a population that is beginning to age making it more vulnerable to different illnesses, better diagnostics, environmental factors and more awareness of Legionnaire s.
Thus far, during the summer, Legionella bacterium has been the cause of 12 deaths in the borough of Bronx in New York City and 8 deaths in an Illinois veterans home. It is also affecting a number of prisoners in California s San Quentin Prison.
The most recent figures show an acceleration from data released just recently, which showed the number of Legionnaire s cases reported to authorities in public health more than tripled from 2001 to 2012.
According to a September 4 Centers for Disease Control weekly report, there were over 400 Legionellosis cases and one that is related known as Pontiac Fever, for the four weeks that ended on August 29.
That total is over twice as many cases that would likely be reported for the same period of four weeks over the last five years, said a spokesperson from the CDC.
The disease was reported first at a 1976 Philadelphia American Legion convention. In the most extreme case, it could lead to pneumonia, septic shock and kidney and respiratory failure.
The disease is caused by inhaling water droplets or mist infected with the Legionella bacterium, a waterborne bacterium that is naturally occurring. It cannot spread person to person. The Legionella bacteria is able to thrive in warmer water, which might explain why the infections are found to take place most commonly during the summer or early fall months, but could happen any time during the year.
Cases of the possibly fatal Legionnaire’s disease have increased dramatically across the U.S.