By Lauren Weber • NOVEMBER 5, 2019 Kaiser Health News
“Cases of Legionnaires’ disease reached a record high in 2018 — a more than eight-fold increase since the numbers began to climb nearly two decades ago.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday 9,933 cases in 2018 of Legionellosis, which includes both Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ disease made up the vast majority of cases, according to the CDC.
And the problem may be exponentially larger than what’s reported to public health officials. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine estimates that as many as 70,000 people may suffer from the disease each year, according to a report released in August.
Hot tubs, hotels and hospitals across the U.S. continue to be hotbeds for the potentially deadly disease, which people contract after inhaling mist or water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria. It causes severe pneumonia-like symptoms and kills 10% of those sickened. Nearly one-quarter die if they contract the disease in a health care setting.”