What to do in case of Legionella infection?
As previously stated, Legionella infection can appear in two different ways:
- as a disease commonly known as the Legionnaires’ disease, which usually causes acute and severe lung inflammation;
- as a rise of body temperature called Pontiac fever, which is usually less severe than the one above.
Being a bacterial pathology, antibiotics are required to treat legionellosis. Obviously, antibiotics must be prescribed only by a medical doctor. The second type of infection, called Pontiac, is considered a milder disease, and does not require any shock treatment. On the other hand, in event of a more aggressive form of legionellosis, which ranges from pneumonia to the rare extra-pulmonary infection, it is necessary to take more incisive action by using antibiotics, in order to avoid any adverse outcome.
Death rates related to Legionella bacterial infections are closely tied to a number of particular factors:
- the initial health conditions of the patient
- the severity of the pathology
- timing and methods of early treatments
- the place of exposure to the bacteria
Depending on the factors listed above, it is possible to observe an approximate 50% death rate where patients are immunocompromised and have not received any treatment, while it drops to 15% in cases where patients have not received an appropriate treatment. Overall, Legionella-related mortality is under the 10% on average.
For these reasons, cleaning and treating pipes, especially in air conditioning systems, is more than a must.