An unusually unseasonal outbreak of Legionnaires disease in two New Jersey counties has led to an investigation by the state’s Health Department. The outbreak, which has occurred in Middlesex and Union Counties, has thus far resulted in 21 confirmed cases of the disease. The potential cause of the current outbreak is, thus far, unknown.
What is Legionnaires Disease?
Legionnaires disease is a type of respiratory infection that causes many symptoms similar to pneumonia. However, unlike many other types of pneumonia, the disease is actually the result of a waterborne bacteria known as legionella. However, unless someone is specifically tested for the disease, it can be easily mistaken for another respiratory illness.
How Does a Legionnaires Outbreak Happen?
Legionnaires disease can typically be found in warm, wet environments that are conducive to spreading the legionella bacteria. These include places like swimming pools, water fountains, cooling towers, showers, hot tubs, and sometimes the water systems of places like hotels or hospitals. This means that when multiple people contract Legionnaires disease, it is likely because they have drank from, or otherwise used, the same sources of water.
Why is This Outbreak Unusual?
The outbreak is unusual for two reasons. First, it is unusual for the time of year, given that Legionnaires outbreaks are much more common during the summer thanks to the warmer weather. Second, it is rare for Legionnaires outbreaks to be so widespread, although an explanation of how these people were infected may be revealed as the Health Department conducts its investigation.
What Should You Do?
If you find yourself suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms, such as chills, cough, fever, muscle aches, and headaches, you should speak to a doctor as soon as possible, especially if you know someone who has already been diagnosed with Legionnaires disease. If you test positive for Legionnaires, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling Legionnaires cases. They can assist you in helping you to get compensation for the harm you have suffered.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact the New York personal injury lawyers at the Katter Law Firm. We will help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact us at 212-809-4293, or visit our contact page.