Legionnaires' diseases has made many recent headlines, but is it killing more people than usual?
What seems to be an obscure, random disease that shouldn’t cause much concern has shocked people in populated areas by causing a string of deaths throughout the summer. According to a report from Vox, deaths from the disease have been increasing in New York State as well as in California and Illinois and the bacteria can lead to a number of serious health complications.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease begin with headaches, fever, chills, and aching muscles. As the disease develops, it can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion, vomiting, and nausea.
The disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which survive predominantly in warm water. This is largely behind the string of deaths caused by the disease in New York City, where many people share the same hot water and plumbing systems, as well as the same air conditioning units.
While the disease can spread through your water supply, it’s important to note that it cannot be transmitted between people. You can only become infected by inhaling water droplets contaminated with the bacteria.
The increase in deaths caused by the bacteria throughout New York City can be traced to poor maintenance of water systems in a number of buildings. Mayor Bill DeBlasio has proposed policies that would mandate each building to register its cooling tower with the city to be subject to routine inspections. There will be procedures to disinfect any contaminated water system in an effort to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
With a death rate of up to 30 percent, Legionnaires’ disease is nothing to take lightly. Fortunately, there are antibiotic treatments that can cure any infection quickly.