THURSDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cases of Legionnaire's
disease in the United States have tripled in the past decade, a new
federal government report shows.
And while Legionnaires' disease is serious and can be
life-threatening and the increase in cases is cause for concern,
most people recover with antibiotic treatment, officials said.
The number of cases reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention rose from 1,110 in 2000 to 3,522 in 2009.
The incidence rate increased from 0.39 to 1.15 per 100,000 people
during that time.
The increase may be due to a rise in the number of seniors and
other people at high risk for infection, CDC officials
Elderly people account for most cases of Legionnaire's disease,
a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that can be present in the
mist from water in hot tubs or showers or air conditioning systems
in large buildings.
While older people and those living in the Northeast are most at
risk, Legionnaire's disease occurs in all age groups and regions.
Men accounted for 60 percent of the cases, the CDC said.
Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include fever, chills, a cough
and sometimes muscle aches and headaches. Other types of pneumonia
have similar symptoms. You probably need a chest X-ray to diagnose
the pneumonia. Lab tests can detect the specific bacteria that
cause Legionnaires' disease.
The CDC said it's working with state health departments to
identify the reasons for the rising number of Legionnaire's
The report appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the CDC's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has more