When you step into someone’s home or place of business, you can often identify hazards such spills or objects that can fall and injure someone. Identifying dangerous microscopic dangers like legionella, the Legionnaires disease-causing bacteria, is much more difficult.

Some recent visitors to the Mountain State Fair contracted Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires disease is a serious infection that can be fatal. Bodies of water such as ponds and lakes sometimes carry the bacteria and infect the person who ingests the water.

However, the threat of legionella looms indoors, too, and the bacteria thrives in poorly-maintained water systems. Some common household breeding grounds for legionella include:

  • Water-based cooling systems. Air conditioners that use water, usually in bigger buildings, can provide a home for the bacteria to grow and for someone to breathe in.
  • Pools and hot tubs. It’s important for a landlord or property owner to maintain these leisurely bodies of water or otherwise risk hidden dangers like legionella.
  • Drinking water. Not only can Legionnaires develop from drinking water bacteria but from water tanks and heaters used for showering and bathing.

Vulnerable populations

While Legionnaires can affect anyone, there are certain people who are more vulnerable than others. People over age 50, smokers, and people already dealing with a lung condition are particularly susceptible to Legionnaires.

Anyone who thinks they may have contacted Legionnaires-causing legionella should seek medical attention. Legionnaires is often treatable but early detection is key. Symptoms of Legionnaires can surface just 48 hours after exposure and closely resemble the flu.

What Legionnaires patients can do

Legionnaires can cause someone to miss work, accrue medical bills, and place more pressure on the rest of their family to make up that loss. However, Legionnaires suffers may be able to receive compensation for these things to aid in their recovery.