Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire's disease is a form of pneumonia caused due to bacterial infection by legionella pneumophila bacteria.

Causes and risk factors

Legionnaire’s disease is caused due to the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. Infection occurs when a person inhales microscopic water droplet containing the bacteria. Sources where the bacteria are commonly found or grow are hot water tanks, decorative fountains, swimming pool, hot tubs, large plumbing system etc.

 Clinical presentation

Patient presents with high grade fever with chill, dry cough or cough with sputum, shortness of breath, chest pain. There is muscle pain, headache. Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea is also seen. Confusion and other mental symptoms are also seen. Pontaic fever is the milder form of legionnaire’s disease similar to common flu. Symptoms include fever and muscle ache without pneumonia. Recovery of pontaic fever occurs in 2-5 days without treatment.


Medical history by the patient and Clinical examination by the doctor helps in diagnosis. Blood test is advised .Urine antigen test is done to detect legionella bacteria. Sputum culture is recommended. Imaging studies such as Chest x-ray, CT scan to detect pneumonia and see extent of lung damage may be useful.


A course of oral or intramuscular injection of antibiotics helps in treating Legionnaire’s disease. Hospitalization is recommended in case of complications. Pontaic fever recovers without treatment.

Other Modes of treatment

The other modes of treatment can also be effective in treating Legionnaire’s disease.

Homoeopathy is a science which deals with individualization considers a person in a holistic way. This science can be helpful in combating the symptoms. Similarly the ayurvedic system of medicine which uses herbal medicines and synthetic derivates are also found to be effective in treating Legionnaire’s disease.

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