Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Legionnaire's Disease Overview

What is Legionnaire's disease?
A person with Legionnaire's disease has pneumonia, caused by an infection with the bacteria, Legionella pneumophila. The infection causes inflammation of the lung, which causes fluid to collect in the lung. The fluid can prevent oxygen from entering the bloodstream.

What are the symptoms of Legionnaire's disease?
Symptoms of Legionnaire's disease include chest pain, breathing difficulty, cough, coughing blood, muscle aches, headache, weakness or fatigue, high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms of serious Legionnaire's disease include confusion and seizures.

How does the doctor treat Legionnaire's disease?
Treatment for Legionnaire's disease includes rest, bronchodilator medications, antibiotics, cough medicines, and acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever control.

Continue to Legionnaire's Disease Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Legionnaire's Disease References
  1. Campins M, Ferrer A, Callis L, Pelaz C, Cortes PJ, Pinart N, Vaque J. Nosocomial Legionnaire's disease in a children's hospital. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Mar;19(3):228-34. [10749465]
  2. Lane G, Ferrari A, Dreher HM. Legionnaire's disease: a current update. Medsurg Nurs. 2004 Dec;13(6):409-14. [15714745]
  3. Tercelj-Zorman M, Seljak M, Stare J, Mencinger J, Rakovec J, Rylander R, Strle F. A hospital outbreak of Legionella from a contaminated water supply. Arch Environ Health. 2004 Mar;59(3):156-9. [16121906]
  4. Waterer GW, Baselski VS, Wunderink RG. Legionella and community-acquired pneumonia: a review of current diagnostic tests from a clinician's viewpoint. Am J Med. 2001 Jan;110(1):41-8. [11152864]
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