Legionnaires' Disease

Guide To Legionnaires' Disease

Guide To Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires' disease usually causes respiratory infections, although other types can occur, such as wound infections due to contact with contaminated water. Respiratory infection can lead to acute pneumonia or Legionnaires' disease, which is potentially fatal. The disease was first identified in 1976 following an outbreak of pneumonia or among US servicemen in Philadelphia, USA.

The disease is now recognised to be widespread and is thought to be the cause of as many as 2% of hospital cases of pneumonia.

Initial symptoms include headache, muscle pain and general malaise. These symptoms are followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and high fever where body temperature may reach 40°C. Patients become confused and seriously ill. Often this includes hallucination. It becomes obvious that a patient has severe respiratory infection. The disease is treated with antibiotics and mechanical ventilation if necessary.

The disease may be caused by poor engineering practices in the operation and maintenance of air and water cooling systems in public places. If you have suffered from Legionnaires' disease you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation. IM has successfully represented Claimants who have been affected by Legionnaires' disease including cases where infection has occurred abroad.