COMBATING INFECTION: On the march against Legionnaires' disease

December 2004 
Volume 34  Number 12
Pages 24 - 24
  PDF Version Available!


  • Assessing signs and symptoms

  • How to treat and prevent disease



    IN THE SUMMER OF 1976, an outbreak of pneumonia at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, Pa., was traced to contaminated water in the convention hotel's air conditioning system. About 180 people became ill and 29 died. The responsible pathogen, a Gram-negative bacterium, was isolated and named Legionella pneumophila . The most severe form of the infection it causes, Legionnaires' disease, is characterized by pneumonia. Legionella also causes Pontiac fever, a less severe illness characterized by fever and muscle aches, but not pneumonia. Most people recover without treatment.

    Currently, 18 groups of L. pneumophila and 35 related Legionella species have been recognized, but L. pneumophila serogroup 1 is the type most often associated with disease. It can reproduce in high numbers only in a narrow temperature zone—from 90° F to 105° F (32° C to 41° C)—so it thrives in warm, stagnant water found in certain plumbing systems, hot water tanks, and spas.

    Legionella is transmitted when someone inhales aerosolized water vapor from the air around contaminated water. Disease ( legionellosis ) develops when a susceptible person inhales enough bacteria from a contaminated source, such as a shower, a bedside humidifier, or aerosolizing respiratory therapy equipment.

    The percentage of people who become ill after exposure is low: 0.1% to 5%. Those most susceptible to disease include the elderly, cigarette smokers, people with chronic lung or other disease, and those who are immunocompromised.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23% of Legionnaires' disease cases are nosocomial. The infection doesn't spread person to person, so isolation isn't necessary.

    Assessing ...

Purchase Now !

To purchase this item, follow the instructions below. If you’re not already logged in, be sure to enter your login information below to ensure that your item is saved to your File Drawer after you purchase it.

Not a member? Join now for Free!

1) If you're not already logged in, enter your information below to save this item in your File Drawer for future viewing.

User name:


Forgot your user name or password?
2)  If you have a coupon or promotional code, enter it
here.(If not, just click Continue.

Digital Coupon: (optional)

3)  Click Continue to go to the next screen, where
you'll enter your payment details.

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events