This bacterial infection can be spread through the water supply system, as well as this pathogen can survive outdoors. The bacterium enters the human body through drinking water, as well as through the air together with contaminated water droplets.
Legionnaires’ disease is able to adversely affect the upper or lower respiratory tract preventing normal breathing. In addition, the pathogen can have a negative effect on other body systems, such as:
- the central nervous system;
- the gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease occur a few days after the pathogen entering the human body.
When diagnosing Legionnaires ‘disease, different research methods and laboratory tests are used to identify the pathogenic microorganism:
- clinical urine tests;
- chest x-ray;
- collecting a sputum sample;
- bronchial washing.
People with chronic lung diseases, elderly and with weakened immune system are the most susceptible to becoming infected with Legionnaires ‘disease. Legionnaires’ disease can trigger the occurrence of various severe complications, including:
- respiratory failure;
- multiple organ failure;
- different types of dehydration;
- acute kidney injury.
The treatment should be initiated immediately after the pathogen has been identified to prevent further development of this infectious disease.
Use of several antibiotics at once can be required to treat severe cases of Legionnaires ‘disease. Patients with respiratory tract infection are usually hospitalized in the intensive care unit.