Scary and Potentially Dangerous Lung Infection Spreading in Utah
Health officials across the nation are warning of a potential rise of a dangerous form of pneumonia. It’s called Legionnaires’ Disease.
This information comes from the Center for Disease Control.
The disease is contracted courtesy of a bacteria known as Legionella, which can spread in many ways, but mostly through water.
The report said, “After Legionella grows and multiplies in a building water system, water containing Legionella can spread in droplets small enough for people to breathe in. People can get Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria.”
Symptoms of Legionnaires Disease include fever, cough, chills, or muscle aches. If you feel like you’ve been exposed to the disease, the CDC recommends you contact your local health department, and be prepared with a list of how many nights you spent away from home in the past 14 days.
Similar to Covid-19, most people who are diagnosed with the disease don’t get too sick unless they meet a set of prior medical issues.
- People 50 years or older
- Current or former smokers
- Anyone with chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema
- People with weak immune systems
- People who consume drugs that weaken the immune system like the kind you take following a transplant operation or chemotherapy
- Cancer patients
- Those who have underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure.
Legionella can also grow in many different kinds of water-based environments around your home. Things like showerheads and sink faucets, hot tubs, hot water tanks and heaters, and even decorative fountains and water features.
The number of cases in Utah is still being researched for 2023, but it’s always important to stay informed for any kind of situation.
Arches National Park
Gallery Credit: All photos by Shelly Griffin