Elliot Olsen is a nationally prominent Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member have been sickened by Legionnaires’ disease and believe that negligence played a role, you might have cause to file a Legionnaires lawsuit. Please call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is starting to weaken in the United States, but experts say there’s another, more common disease that ought to be getting just as much attention as the weather turns warmer:
Legionnaires’ disease, a waterborne illness that makes frequent headlines during the warmer, summer months.
“Twenty-five thousand people are going to be impacted by Legionella,” Bob Bowcock, a nationally recognized water engineer who is also part of a group working to promote water safety across the country, told NPR-Illinois for a 2020 report. “Many of them are going to die, and yet, nobody even knows what it is.”
Legionnaires and COVID: 25K cases per year
Legionnaires’ disease – also called Legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to the Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur each year, but only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms, and 10 percent of those will die from the infection.
Bowcock said Legionnaires’ disease often flies under the radar because most cases are individual and sporadic, meaning there’s little chance of a massive outbreak.
Nevertheless, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 569 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in 2019, and 43 of those victims died.
Legionnaires and COVID: similar symptoms
Legionnaires’ disease symptoms mirror those of COVID-19, such as:
- muscle aches
- difficulty breathing, which often produces chest pains
Legionnaires and COVID: similar incubation period
The incubation period for Legionnaires’ disease – the amount of time between breathing in the bacteria and developing symptoms – is usually 2 to 10 days after exposure and can be as much as 16 days. For COVID-19, the average is 5 to 7 days but can be as long as 14.
Legionnaires and COVID: Illinois praised
Bowcock praised Illinois for taking the initiative to control sporadic cases of Legionnaires’ disease. He said the federal government should come up with a nationwide standard modeled after regulations in Illinois.
“These changes to our water quality are very, very, very important, and to understand them as Illinois has is an example for the rest of the United States,” Bowcock said.
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