24 Aug

Legionnaire’s Disease

A Chicago hotel has recently experienced an outbreak of legionnaire’s disease that caused the death of two former patrons.  It is unknown how many people have been infected.  Legionnaire’s disease is caused by bacteria in the genus Legionella.  Legionnaire’s disease got it’s name from a pneuomonia outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976.  Legionella was the cause of this outbreak.  Legionella pneunomphila is a gram negative bacteria that thrives in temperatures between 25 and 45 degrees celsius.  Outbreaks typically occur in the summer and early fall.  The fatality rate is between 5 and 30% however that number jumps to 50% for infections contracted in a hospital.  The hotel in Chicago where this recent outbreak occured has drained its hot tub and fountain in attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease.  This type of bacteria can be found in contaminated water sources and inhaled as an aerosol.