What Causes Legionnaires Disease

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What causes legionnaires disease? Why is it important for us to know about it? Legionnaires disease is often mistaken as pneumonia. However, it can even be more fatal, since legionnaires disease bacteria can spread and infect others fast, which sometimes lead to death, unstoppably. Thus, let’s take a look closer at what causes legionnaires disease along with the risks, so we can prevent this!

The Causes of Legionnaires Disease:

Most cases of Legionnaires Disease are often caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. These bacteria live in soil and water, such as lakes, rivers, and other areas that have fresh water. Outdoors, these bacteria unlikely cause infection and outbreaks, because the temperature of the water is too low to allow the bacteria to grow fast.

Instead, it is easier for the bacteria to multiply themselves indoors, the places that have artificial water systems to be contaminated, such as fountains, spas, hot tubs, showers, humidifiers, air conditioners, and mist sprayers.

Moreover, environment with complex systems (i.e. home plumbing systems or water-based air-conditioning system for cooling) enables the bacteria to spread rapidly.

This is the reason why most of legionnaire’s disease outbreaks are deadly, because it often happens in large buildings—where many people gather, such as hotels, hospitals and department stores.

Not only is a place’s temperature important, but also the place’s cleanness. It becomes important, because dirty places will most-likely grow rust, lime scale and algae. Many bacteria will live in this type of areas, since it eats the rust and more of those kinds.

Those are the reasons why people need to be extra aware when they are in public places, especially for elders, because people who are over the age of 50 has higher risks to be infected by this bacteria.

The same goes for the smokers, or others that have respiratory problems and weaker immune systems, such as the patients that are suffering from HIV-AIDS, lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), since their lungs and immune system are already exposed.

How the Infection Spreads

Most of Legionnaires Disease sufferers are infected as they breathe in the legionella bacteria within the microscopic water droplets. It may come out from the sprays of water through wash tap or shower, where there is dispersion of water through large buildings’ ventilation systems.

However, there are some other probabilities of infection transmission, which are through:

  • Soil
    Some people might get infected when they are working in the garden, because sometimes the potting soil is already contaminated by the bacteria.
  • Aspiration
    Infection can be transmitted when you cough while drinking, where the liquids will penetrate through your lungs. This becomes possible, because you might inhale the bacteria in when you aspirate the contaminated water. Thus, due to its fast infection, you need to remember what causes legionnaires disease!

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