Legionnaire disease or "air conditioner disease" is an acute respiratory disease caused by a bacterial infection of the genus Legionella.
Legionella is an aquatic bacterium but can also be found on the ground. When it infects humans, the bacterium enters into the desirable cells of the lung and reproduces within them. It is mainly manifested as pneumonia and is potentially fatal in approximately 5% -30% of cases.
They were named because the first epidemic occurred in 1974 at a hotel in the US where the Legion of America was having a meeting.
Possible sources of infection:
Refrigerating towers, humidifiers, large air-conditioning systems, water storage tanks, thermal baths, fountains, swimming tanks.
Way of transmission:
By inhalation of the bacterium, when contaminated water is dispersed in the air in the form of droplets. IT IS NOT TRANSMITTED FROM PERSON TO PERSON.
Symptoms of Disease:
Appears 2 to 10 days after infection:
• Muscle pain
By the 2nd or 3rd day, the patient will develop other symptoms such as:
• Cough (may have mucus, sometimes blood)
• Chest pain
• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Confusion or other mental change
Ways of protection:
Have proper maintenance of the air conditioners by cleaning the filters at regular intervals. Also, the rooms should be ventilated frequently. Systematically taking appropriate measures for the proper operation of the hydraulic and air-conditioning installations.
The usual treatment includes intravenous antibiotics. Early diagnosis and treatment speeds up recovery and prevents severe effects from Legionnaires' disease.