Following an outbreak of a particular strain of pneumonia that infected many delegates during an American Legion Convention in Pennsylvania in 1976, the term ""Legionnaires' illness"" was first used. The disease's causative bacteria was eventually identified as Legionella pneumophila and isolated. The Legionella bacteria have been linked to Pontiac fever and Legionnaires' disease, two different disorders. A serious form of pneumonia is legionnaires' disease. The main signs of pontiac fever include fever and muscle aches (but not pneumonia). In this document, we only discuss legionellosis.
Why does Legionnaires' illness exist?
The genus Legionella contains the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease. There are numerous Legionella species that can cause the disease, but 85–90% of cases are caused by Legionella pneumophila. Species of Legionella are typically present in all freshwater aquatic settings. They can endure the wet conditions for several months and proliferate when there is organic debris and algae present.
What symptoms and indicators are present in Legionnaires' disease?
A severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease often appears 2 to 10 days following exposure to the Legionella bacterium. Early warning indicators and symptoms include: Headache muscle ache overall unwell feeling Other symptoms and indicators may appear after a few days, and they may include: 104-105°F or up to 40-40.5°C fever signs of the digestive system (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) wet cough chest pain respiratory issues or shortness of breath Dizziness or other mental modifications (disorientation, hallucination, loss of memory) The majority of patients get pneumonia, a condition when part of the air sacs in the lungs swell with fluid or pus. If symptoms of pneumonia appear, speak with a doctor or other healthcare provider for advice. Legionnaires' illness must be diagnosed through laboratory testing. It can take many weeks for full healing. Of the known cases of Legionnaires' illness, 15–25% have resulted in death.
How is the sickness of the legionnaires diagnosed and treated?
Laboratory tests that are not often administered to patients with fever and pneumonia are required to differentiate Legionnaires' disease from other kinds of pneumonia. In order to do the necessary tests, the doctor must be told if there is a chance of exposure to the Legionella bacterium. Laboratory tests that isolate Legionella from respiratory secretions (sputum) or tests of a patient's blood or urine are used to confirm the diagnosis. Antibiotics are used to treat legionnaires' illness. Early intervention lowers the likelihood of significant consequences.
How is the Legionnaire's illness spread?
Legionella is typically found in soil and water, although an outbreak of the disease is not always linked to this presence. The Legionella germs can also enter the lungs through aspiration, albeit it is less frequent. Aspiration is described as the direct or indirect admission of a liquid or solid through the mouth cavity, nasal cavity, or lower respiratory system. In other words, aspiration happens when anything enters the lungs as opposed to traveling from the mouth or nose to the stomach (other than air). Neither proof of human-to-human transfer nor proof of human-to-animal transmission has been discovered. Warm, stagnant water can encourage the growth of germs, including Legionella. When circulating air in a building takes up water droplets contaminated with Legionella, the infection can spread through ventilation systems. The germs can reach the lung if the droplets are small enough to be breathed.
How does the Legionella bacteria spread indoors?
Large air-conditioning systems include cooling towers. They are employed to chill water and remove extra heat by evaporation. Through spray nozzles, warm water enters the cooling tower's top (as shown in Figure 1). The air is pumped through the tower by fans while the water flows through the nozzles, creating small aerosols that maximize interaction between the water and the air. Splash bars are positioned below the nozzles to stop droplets from fusing together to form larger ones. Some of the water evaporates as the aerosols descend, cooling the water. The fans blowing air through the tower chill the water as well. The air stream created by the fans disperses some droplets, referred to as drift, outside of the tower. A drift eliminator installed at the top of the tower reduces this water loss. At the base of the tower, where it gathers, the cool water is pushed back for another cycle. Evaporative condensers (Figure 2) resemble cooling towers in both design and operation. Legionella and other bacteria may be present in cooling towers and evaporative condensers due to circulating air or water. Legionella thrives in warm, stagnant water, especially when scale and algae are present. If there is a gap between the air conditioning system's ducts and those of the cooling tower or evaporative condenser, legionella can enter and be spread by aerosolized drift or evaporate. Legionella has also been discovered in humidifiers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, public spas, faucets, and showerheads. It is unknown if nearby polluted cooling towers or municipal feeder systems are the source of Legionella entering a building's water supply.
Who has a higher risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease?
Although instances have been observed in all age groups, those 40 years of age or older are typically affected by the legionnaires' disease. People who have underlying medical issues are more susceptible to illness. This worry extends to those who: Cancer Diabetes failing kidneys or the liver Emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are examples of chronic lung diseases. Smoking may also make you more susceptible to sickness.
Which professions are susceptible to Legionnaires' disease?
The most vulnerable personnel are those whose jobs require them to enter sealed buildings, such as those who upkeep water cooling towers in air conditioning systems. Some outdoor jobs may be deemed at risk since Legionella is naturally present near water sources outside; nonetheless, the quantity of bacteria present in these places is typically insufficient to cause disease in people. There is a chance that the microorganism could be exposed from disturbed soil in regions where there is surface or aerosolized water discharge. Through a few instances, the Legionella bacteria from cooling towers have persisted and traveled several kilometers in air ducts and ventilation systems.
How can the Legionnaires' disease be avoided?
Good engineering practices, such as adequate upkeep and operation of air and water handling systems and mist-producing equipment, may lower the chance of Legionella exposure. These appliances include humidifiers, whirlpool bathtubs, hot tubs, and shower heads. Always adhere to the operating, maintenance, and cleaning recommendations provided by the manufacturer. At least once a year, cooling towers and evaporative condensers should be inspected and thoroughly cleaned. Drift eliminators and other corroded components need to be replaced. Remove any algae and accumulated scale. These steps will prevent bacterial growth while simultaneously preserving operational effectiveness. Never enter a small space without the necessary training or instruction. If it is necessary to enter a limited place for cleaning or de-scaling, all safety precautions must be observed. Constant treatment is necessary for cooling water. The best solution is to utilize an automatic water treatment system that continuously monitors and regulates the water's quality. To lessen the possibility of contaminated aerosols entering the ventilation system, fresh air intakes shouldn't be constructed close to cooling towers. Periodically check, clean, replace, and/or check for leaks in air filters. Hot water tanks and water systems which might provide ideal conditions for the growth of Legionella, should be cleaned and flushed regularly to prevent the water from stagnating.""" - https://www.affordablecebu.com/