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Legionnaires' disease;

Legionnaires' Disease CDC

Legionnaires disease outbreak in
Union County, New Jersey leaves
five people dead
by Nathan'ette Burdine: May 27, 2019

A Legionnaires disease outbreak in Union County, New Jersey has left 5 people dead and 22 people sick. The five deaths were among older individuals who had other health issues.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) , individuals who contracted the disease became sick between March 8 and May 13, 2019.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal is quoted as saying about the investigation of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, “This is a continuing investigation. The risk to any resident or recent visitor to Union County is very small.”

Legionnaires disease is a form of pneumonia, occurring in the lungs. Legionnaires disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria. The Legionella bacteria enters the body whenever a person swallows contaminated water or if the individual breaths in air that has the Legionella bacteria.

The Legionella bacteria is found in hot tubs, faucets, or large cooling units in large buildings.

A person who has Legionnaires disease will also have Pontiac Fever. Pontiac Fever is not as severe as Legionnaires’ disease. It takes somewhere between two to 72 hours for the symptoms associated with Pontiac Fever to appear.

Unlike Legionnaires’ disease, Pontiac Fever passes on its own and it lasts no longer than six days.

A person who gets Legionnaires disease will have symptoms similar to the flu like coughing, fever, headaches, and aches and pains in the muscles.

Keep in mind, however, that although a person will have flu-like symptoms whenever the individual gets Legionnaires disease and Pontiac Fever, Pontiac Fever is not a type of pneumonia.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that can weaken the respiratory system.

People who generally succumb to the disease are older, are smokers, have a chronic respiratory illness, and or a weak immune system.

A urine test or a sample of phlegm from the lungs is used to determine if a person has Legionnaires disease.

A urine test and a blood test is used to determine if a person has Pontiac Fever. There are no vaccines that can prevent a person from getting the Legionnaires disease or the Pontiac Fever. Antibiotics are used to treat individuals who have Legionnaires disease.

All of the information about the causes, signs, symptoms, transmission, and treatment of the Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac Fever were obtain from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

The New Jersey Department of Health is working with local health officials in Union County, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on identifying the cause and finding a solution to contain the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Union County, New Jersey.

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