Eleven people have been sickened, and one person is dead, after an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Napa County, California. After testing, a cooling tower at a hotel in Napa County was found to have a large amount of the Legionella bacteria, and the tower was shut down as a precaution until it could be cleaned.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Put simply, Legionnaires’ disease is a type of respiratory infection that closely resembles pneumonia, causing fevers, muscle aches, coughing, shortness of breath, and headaches. Typically, the Legionella bacteria that causes the disease is found in places that are warm and wet, meaning it can easily grow in cooling towers, air conditioning units, hot tubs, swimming pools, decorative fountains, and even in some plumbing systems. While Legionella is common in nature, infections are rare because it can normally be eliminated through mundane hygiene practices.
What is Dangerous About Legionnaires’ Disease?
Like other types of pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease is most dangerous to the young, the elderly, and those with certain chronic medical conditions. People with impaired breathing due to COPD, asthma, or other cardiovascular issues are at especially high risk from a Legionnaires’ infection. However, it can potentially pose a threat to anyone due to impaired breathing, and in some severe cases, it can even be fatal.
What Makes This Outbreak Unusual?
Legionnaires’ disease can usually be traced to a specific tainted water source, which can then be isolated and addressed. While a cooling tank with a high concentration of Legionella bacteria has been shut down, that tank does not appear to be related to any of the illnesses discovered in Napa County. Authorities continue to search for the source, including identifying others who may be suffering from the disease without realizing it.
What Should You Do if You Get Infected?
If you and the people around you suddenly fall ill with respiratory ailments, you should seek medical attention to see if you may have Legionnaires’ disease. Identifying the disease early is important to effective treatment and can help to prevent further cases by identifying tainted water sources. You should also speak to an experienced Legionnaires’ disease lawyer, since the presence of the disease is a sign of negligence by whoever was supposed to manage the infected water source.
If you or someone you know has been sickened due to Legionnaires’ Disease, contact the experienced Legionnaires’ Disease lawyers at the Katter Law Firm. We have helped people with Legionaries’ Disease get the money they legally deserve. Protect your rights and speak with an experienced Legionnaires’ disease lawyer call 844-LEGION-4 (844-534-4649), or visit our contact page.