BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuLegionnaire diseaseLegionella pneumonia; Pontiac fever; Legionellosis; Legionella pneumophila Legionnaire disease is an infection of the lungs and airways. It is caused by Legionella bacteria. Causes The bacteria that cause Legionnaire disease have been found in water delivery systems. They can survive in the warm, moist air conditioning systems of large buildings, including hospitals.Most cases are caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. The rest of the cases are caused by other Legionella species.Spread of the bacteria from person to person has not been proven.Most infections occur in middle-aged or older people. In rare cases, children can get the infection. When they do, the disease is less severe.Risk factors include:Alcohol use Cigarette smoking Chronic illnesses, such as kidney failure or diabetes Kidney failureAcute kidney failure is the rapid (less than 2 days) loss of your kidneys' ability to remove waste and help balance fluids and electrolytes in your b...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article DiabetesDiabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Long-term (chronic) lung disease, such as COPD COPDChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease. Having COPD makes it hard to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD:Chroni...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Long-term use of a breathing machine (ventilator) Medicines that suppress the immune system, including chemotherapy and steroid drugs Older age Symptoms Symptoms tend to get worse during the first 4 to 6 days. They most often improve in another 4 to 5 days.Symptoms may include:General discomfort, loss of energy, or ill feeling (malaise) Headache Fever, shaking chills Joint pain, muscle aches and stiffness Chest pain, shortness of breath Cough that does not produce much sputum or mucus (dry cough) Coughing up blood (rare) Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical exam. Abnormal sounds, called crackles, may be heard when listening to the chest with a stethoscope.Tests that may be done include:Arterial blood gases Arterial blood gasesBlood gases are a measurement of how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood. They also determine the acidity (pH) of your blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Blood cultures to identify the bacteria Bronchoscopy to view the airways and diagnose lung disease BronchoscopyBronchoscopy is a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease. It may also be used during the treatment of some lung conditions.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Chest x-ray or CT scan Chest x-rayA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Complete blood count (CBC), including white blood cell count CBCA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article White blood cell countA WBC count is a blood test to measure the number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the blood. WBCs are also called leukocytes. They help fight infecti...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article ESR (sed rate) to check how much inflammation is in the body ESRESR stands for erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It is commonly called a "sed rate. "It is a test that indirectly measures the level of certain protei...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Liver blood tests Liver blood testsLiver function tests are common tests that are used to see how well the liver is working. Tests include:AlbuminAlpha-1 antitrypsinAlkaline phosphata...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tests and cultures on sputum to identify the legionella bacteria Urine tests to check for Legionella pneumophila bacteria Molecular tests with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Treatment Antibiotics are used to fight the infection. Treatment is started as soon as Legionnaire disease is suspected, without waiting for results of any lab test.Other treatments may include receiving:Fluids through a vein (IV) Oxygen, which is given through a mask or breathing machine Medicines that are breathed in to ease breathing Outlook (Prognosis) Legionnaire disease can be life threatening. The risk of dying is higher in people who:Have long-term (chronic) diseases Become infected while in the hospital Are older adults When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider right away if you have any type of breathing problem and think you have symptoms of Legionnaire disease.Open ReferencesReferencesEdelstein PH, Roy CR. Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 232.Marrie TJ. Legionella infections. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 298.AllVideoImagesTogLegionnaire disease - organism legionella - illustration Legionnaire disease was first described in 1976 after an outbreak of fatal pneumonia at a Legionnaires convention. The newly described organism which caused the disease was named Legionella pneumophila, shown in this picture. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)Legionnaire disease - organism legionellaillustrationLegionnaire disease - organism legionella - illustration Legionnaire disease was first described in 1976 after an outbreak of fatal pneumonia at a Legionnaires convention. The newly described organism which caused the disease was named Legionella pneumophila, shown in this picture. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)Legionnaire disease - organism legionellaillustrationRelated Information Respiratory(Special Topic)Community-acquired pneumonia in adults(Condition)Acute kidney failure(Condition)Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)(Condition)Pneumonia in adults - discharge(Discharge)Pneumonia(In-Depth) Review Date: 1/2/2021 Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron, Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.