Legionnaires' Disease - Causes, Symptoms , Treatment


1. Description

2. Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease

3. Treatment of Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' disease - a bacterial infection, which flows in the form of severe pneumonia andreferring to a group of diseases, which are pathogen Legionella species.Legionnaires' disease is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumofilae.Up to 4% of all deaths from pneumonia accounts for the disease.


name the disease gave the fifty-eighth congress of the members of the American Legion, held in Philadelphia (USA) in 1976, after which the 200 members of Congress of 4400 were affected by a previously unknown disease.However, 34 cases were lethal.

A year later, Karl Shepard and J. Mc Dade managed to identify the causative agent of the disease from the lung tissue of one of the deceased patients.It was found that the bacterium Legionella pneumofilae was in the liquid that accumulates in the ventilation system of the building in which the exit and passed.

bacteria secrete water natural and artificial reservoirs, laboratory and industrial applications, whose work is related to the water and carried out at temperatures ranging from 4 ° C to 60 ° C, irrigation systems.The home is a breeding ground for Legionella most air conditioners, showers, compressor device.In hospitals the bacteria found in the equipment for mechanical ventilation and inhalation therapy.

mechanism of transmission of bacteria Legionella pneumofilae aspiration.Superfine aerosol formed in the closed cooling water systems, other technology cycles, and containing Legionella lead to outbreaks of disease.Zone proliferation of such aerosol called a hotbed of infection.

Group cases of Legionnaires disease are marked by using domestic humidifiers, shower facilities, laboratory and medical equipment.

At the outbreak of the disease in a separate medical facility and can get infected through drinking water.

risk of contracting Legionella infection increases with alcohol abuse, smoking, heavy somatic diseases, chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract, immunodeficiency states.

Symptoms of Legionnaires 'disease

Legionnaires' disease is characterized by symptoms sufficiently rich.This is not to single out any symptoms of Legionnaires' disease, which characterizes only the disease.

The incubation period of the disease is from two to ten days, with an average of the first symptoms of Legionnaires' disease appear 4-7 days after infection.

In the early days of the disease, patients complain of pain in muscles and joints, headache, general weakness, lack of appetite.After three or four days, the body temperature rises to 39-40 ° C, patients complain of very strong fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea may occur.Also, there is a dry cough or cough with little phlegm.In the sputum, there may be streaks of blood, although in general hemoptysis observed infrequently.

for diseases that occur in an acute form, the first symptom of Legionnaires' disease is a body temperature jump to 39.5-40 ° C.There are growing signs of severe intoxication.Against the background of general weakness and adinamii develop signs of toxic damage to the central nervous system: confusion, emotional lability, confusion, disorientation, hallucinations and delirium, fainting.In some cases, marked dysarthria, ataxia, nystagmus.Cough is the cause of severe pain in the chest, especially when fibrinous pleurisy.

Chest X-ray reveals patchy infiltrates various sites, which will eventually merge and form large pockets of equity, unilateral or bilateral pneumonia.

Pneumonia develops quickly, difficult to care.Often complicated by the development of pleurisy, abscesses, infectious-toxic shock.

patients developed bradycardia.At the same time, from the time of its alternate bouts of tachycardia.Manifested respiratory failure.Violations of the heart and respiratory systems are so strong that sometimes, despite treatment, the patient is transferred to the artificial lung ventilation.

Almost half of the patients suffering from vomiting, abdominal pain and prolonged diarrhea.One-third of cases patients experience transient liver disease, hepatitis with jaundice.Possible renal dysfunction, renal failure.

Even after recovery, patients complain of asthenia syndrome (dizziness, irritability, fatigue, memory loss) for a long time.Pulmonary infiltrates and pleural changes are determined on the X-ray examination for weeks.

Treatment of Legionnaires' disease

maximum effective drug for the treatment of the pneumonia is considered the antibiotic erythromycin.In the treatment of Legionnaires' disease is mild antibiotic is administered orally.In severe forms of the disease erythromycin is administered intramuscularly or intravenously.

Following initial treatment of Legionnaires' disease, up to 20% of cases are fatal.During outbreaks, this figure may reach 60%.This mortality was significantly higher in patients who become ill in the hospital, as well as those individuals who have low immunity.

recovered patients have to recover from Legionnaire's disease for a long time.


This article is available exclusively in the educational purposes and is not research material or professional medical advice.

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