In 1976 in Philadelphia (USA) Congress veterans of the American Legion was held, after which 180 veterans were ill with severe pneumonia, 26 people died. First, the causes of this epidemic were incomprehensible even to doctors. Only after some time, doctors discovered the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The disease was named in honor of Legionnaires’ disease. Doctors call it legionellosis. In the initial stage of the disease, nausea, muscle weakness, headache, and fever were observed in patients. Then the severe inflammation of the lungs begins.
Initial (prodromal) stage:
- Headache and muscle pain.
- Dry cough.
- High temperature.
- Cough with phlegm.
- Slow heart rate.
- Sometimes mental disabilities.
The bacteria that cause legionellosis, live in water and moist soil. The optimum temperature for breeding is 30-45°C. At temperatures above 55°C, they are killed. Therefore, natural and artificial aquatic ecosystems are the perfect habitat for these bacteria. In the human body they go airborne. Pathogens with tiny droplets of water fall into the airway, and then to the lungs.
Such aqueous aerosols may be formed in the bathroom, near the fountains, inhaled or shower installations. Legionella can also be found in the refrigerated air conditioners. Facts of transmission of the disease from an infected person to healthy have not been established.
When Legionnaires’ disease, medication (antibiotics) is appointed. Treatment lasts at least 3 weeks, it is necessary to prevent recurrence.
For the death of legionella, you can increase the temperature of the heating water to 60°C. But it requires a lot of energy. However, if from time to time you will increase its temperature and thoroughly wash the pipe, then that will be enough.
If you have a headache, there is a dry cough and a fever, the temperature rises sharply, and the pulse is less than 60 minutes in the snow cock, in this case, you need to see a doctor.
The doctor will do a chest X-ray, blood test, and if necessary, a stool sample. With suspected legionellosis doctor will refer the patient to the hospital. There are specific laboratory tests for the identification of pathogens. For any of the blood or other body fluid of patients are needed.
Course of the disease
In humans, diseases begin to act in 2-10 days after infection. During this period, the majority of patients has a dry cough, chest pain, and muscle pain. Then, fever, slow heart rate, abdominal pain and loose stools were observed in patients. Sometimes the patient has mental problems. Acute renal failure is also possible
Is it a dangerous disease?
The high mortality rate (15-20%) is explained by the fact that most of legionellosis ill patients with weakened immune systems. However, the early detection of disease, and the appointment of broad-spectrum antibiotics increases the likelihood of recovery.
- From time to time you have to raise the temperature of the heating water to 60°C, and flush pipe.
- If you were not at home in for a long time, then on arrival let the warm water drain.
- Discard the shower heads that are heavily sprayed water.
- Pour into the inhaler only boiled water.