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    Legionnaires' Disease discovered in McHenry County Illinois

    An Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) investigation uncovered Legionella bacteria and structural issues with the plumbing system at the McHenry Villa Senior Living facility in McHenry. Three residents were sickened with Legionnaires' disease. The Legionnaires' disease outbreak was the third to affect McHenry County in 2018.

     

    What is Legionnaires’ disease?
    Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection. The bacterial infection is treatable with antibiotics, although if it is not diagnosed early, it can lead to severe complications and even become deadly.  It is not contagious; that is, it cannot be passed from person to person.

    By Legionnaires' Disease News on December 3

    How is Legionella distributed?
    Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.  Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources:

    ·      water systems, such as those used in nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, and apartment complexes

    ·      large plumbing systems

    ·      equipment used in physical therapy

    ·      showers and faucets

    ·      hot tubs and whirlpools

    ·      swimming pools

    ·      mist machines and hand-held sprayers

    ·      cooling towers of air conditioning systems

    ·      hot-water tanks and heaters

    ·      decorative fountains.

    What are the symptoms?
    The disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms can even resemble those of the flu, which is why it often goes under-reported. Those symptoms include:

    ·      cough

    ·      shortness of breath

    ·      fever

    ·      muscle aches

    ·      headaches

    ·      gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    Although Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and other parts of the body, including the heart.

    A mild form of Legionnaires’ disease — known as Pontiac Fever — can produce signs and symptoms including a fever, chills, headaches and muscle pains. Pontiac fever, however, doesn’t infect the lungs, and symptoms usually manifest within two to five days.

     

    Difficult diagnosis
    Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection. The bacterial infection is treatable with antibiotics, although if it is not diagnosed early, it can lead to severe complications and even become deadly. It is not contagious; that is, it cannot be passed from person to person.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur in the United States on a yearly basis. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.  Ten percent of people who become infected with Legionnaires will die from the infection.

    Ten percent of people who become infected with Legionnaires will die from the infection.

    High-risk categories
    Anyone can become ill from Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, but those most susceptible to infection include:

    ·      people 50 years of age or older

    ·      smokers, both current and former

    ·      heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages

    ·      people with chronic lung disease

    ·      people with compromised immune systems

    ·      recipients of organ transplants

    ·      individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

     

    Seniors are most susceptible
    Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but people 50 years old and older – especially those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions – are at a higher risk. Other people more susceptible to infection include:

    ·      people with compromised immune systems

    ·      recipients of organ transplants

    ·      individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one)

    ·      heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages.

     

    After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is often necessary. In the most severe Legionnaires cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.

     

    Get Experienced Legal help from Prime Law Group, LLC

    If you or a family member has been affected by Legionnaires' disease, you need to seek medical assistance.  This potentially deadly form of pneumonia has struck victims in many areas of our state including, McHenry, Lake and Cook Counties and the number appears to be on the rise.

    Individuals and families who have been harmed by Legionella bacteria exposure, or otherwise injured by the negligence of others, may be entitled to compensation.  Victims of Legionnaires' Disease or Pontiac Fever can learn about their legal options by speaking with a qualified member of the litigation team at Prime Law Group, LLC.  Call today for a free case evaluation at (815) 338-2040 or complete our free initial consultation form to get started now.

    Click here for our free initial consultation form

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