Legionnaire’s disease is a bacterial infection of the lungs that causes severe pneumonia. It is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The first outbreak of the disease occurred at a Philadelphia Hotel in 1976 during an American Legion Convention. More than 200 delegates were affected by the outbreak, and 34 died, earning the disease its name.
The Legionella bacteria live in water, and outbreaks have frequently been traced to air conditioning cooling towers in hotels and other large public buildings. In the early stages, Legionnaire’s disease produces symptoms of coughing, muscle pain, headaches, fever, and diarrhea. As the pneumonia progresses, patients will experience high fevers, chills, shortness of breath, and other serious symptoms. Patients must be hospitalized to treat these symptoms and avoid acute respiratory failure.
Possible Sources of Legionnaire’s Disease
Outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease have been linked to a variety of sources including:
- Cruise ship hot tubs and whirlpools
- Swimming pools
- Water systems in hospitals, hotels and nursing homes
- Cooling towers in air conditioning systems
- Physical therapy equipment
Hotel and other public building operators are responsible for ensuring that proper hygiene codes are met in their water and air filtration systems to avoid outbreaks of airborne bacterial infection. Persons who have contracted Legionnaire’s disease from contaminated premises have the legal right to sue the owner, operator, or corporation for damages.
Legionnaire’s Disease Lawyer
If you or a loved one were affected by a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced lawyer about filing a personal injury claim today!