Legionnaires Disease Pontiac Fever
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Legionnaires Disease Pontiac Fever

Legionnaire's Disease/Pontiac Fever- Origin, description, signs/symptoms, and treatment.
   Legionnaire's Disease is a rigorous infection of the respiratory system that is usually caused by the Legionella Pneumophila bacterium. There are also other species of Legionella bacterium that can also cause infection. This infection's name was obtained due to an eruption during 1976 at an American Legion convention that was held in Philadelphia. Almost two-hundred members came down with a form of pneumonia that wouldn't respond to typical antibiotics that were used for treatment. In the end, twenty-nine people ended up dying from this bacterium that was found to originate in the air conditioning system of the hotel.

    Legionella Pneumophila may be found in water sources such as creeks, lakes, and excavation locations. This disease is contracted by inhalation of water droplets that are infected with the bacterium and is not communicable through people that are infected. Like almost every other illness, there are people that are at a higher risk of infection, including smokers and and people that consume alot of alcohol or with diseases of the lungs, heart, or kidneys. Other factors that may contribute are: diabetes, COPD, using a ventilator (long-term), immune system suppressant medications, and old age.

    There are many symptoms that come along with Legionnaire's Disease. These symptoms usually worsen within the first four to six days.These symptoms may include:

        <chest pain

        <shortness of breath

        <fever with chills and sweating

        <diarrhea

        <cough

        <headache

        <nausea/vomiting

        <stomach pain

        <fatigue

        <coughing up blood

        <lack of coordination

    Since Legionnaire's Disease is a very uncommon infection, it is often mistaken for a flu strain or other common cold. Direct diagnosis is usually made through an examination of the patient including an x-ray of the chest, white blood cell count, arterial blood gas, liver function test, urine test, and a bacterium or sputum culture. Common antibiotic treatments are usually used for treating the infection, along with electrolyte and fluid replacement, and use of an oxygen mask. The condition usually has a good prognosis if treatment with antibiotics is started right away. An infected person may show improvement within four to five days. Otherwise, if treatment is not sought right away, the outcome is not usually very good for the patient.

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