Legionnaires’ disease, also called legionellosis is a dangerous, and even deadly form of pneumonia that is contracted through mist or water vapor in the atmosphere. Caused by a bacteria known as Legionella, legionnaires’ disease affects roughly 12,000 to 18,000 annually, and has an incredibly high mortality rate, with estimates as high as forty percent. However, these numbers probably fail to account for the disease’s true reach, as most cases are either never exposed, or are misdiagnosed as pneumonia. This is because victims of legionnaire’s disease share the same symptoms as pneumonia, including:
- Muscle pain
- No appetite
- Fatigue, loss of energy or shortness of breath
These symptoms generally develop within 2 to 14 days after exposure to the legionellae bacteria, and are especially toxic to individuals over the age of 65, smokers, and those with weakened immune systems.
How Did I Get Legionnaires’ Disease?
Unlike many other bacterial diseases, legionnaires’ disease cannot be spread through person-to-person contact. Instead, it is spread through environments with warm water conduits that give off water vapors or mist. This mist can come from:
- Hot tubs
- Air conditioning units and cooling towers
- Whirlpool spas
- Water used for drinking and bathing
Commonly, people have contracted legionnaires’ disease after staying at hotels, hospitals or spas that are infected with the dangerous bacteria.
Legionnaires’ Disease Attorney
People staying in hotels, hospitals or spas are owed a duty of care
. This duty include maintaining biological bacteria such as legionellae, in cooling towers hot water and other aerosolizing water structures. Often times, these facilities fail to properly maintain a clean and healthy environment, leading to the spread of the legionellae bacteria. They are required to test their water and plumbing systems for bacteria.
Guests staying at hotels and facilities who have experienced symptoms of legionnaires’ disease are urged to get themselves checked by a medical professional immediately. If caught early, the disease can be treated with antibiotics such as Erythromycin or Azithromycin.
Our attorneys have been successful at holding facilities and hospitals accountable for their failure to maintain a safe premises and exposing their clients to dangers such as Legionnaires’ disease. Contact us to speak to an attorney immediately.