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Legionnaires’ Disease

Andrew G. Alexander, MD, Kenneth A. Ballou, MD and Maegen V. Dupper, MD Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Legionnaires’ disease was named for an epidemic of lower respiratory tract disease at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976. The causative bacterium was previously un...

DIAGNOSIS

  • Illness ranges from asymptomatic seroconversion and mild febrile illness to severe pneumonia.

  • Wound infections with Legionella also reported

  • Incubation period is 2 to 14 days.

HISTORY

  • Signs and ...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Severity of illness and available resources dictate the appropriate site for care.

  • Supportive care:

    • Oxygenation, hydration, and electrolyte balance with antibiotic therapy

  • Ext...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Monitor respiratory status, hydration, and electrolyte status closely.

  • Chest radiography lags behind the clinical status and may not help with mo...

REFERENCES

1
Adams DA, Thomas KR, Jajosky RA, et al. Summary of notifiable infectious diseases and conditions—United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.  2017;64(53):1–143. [View Abstract on...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Gilbert DN, Chambers HF, Eliopoulos GM, et al. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2016. 46th ed. Sperryville, VA: Antimicrobial Therapy; 2016.

  • Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anz...

SEE ALSO

Pneumonia, Bacterial 

CODES

ICD10

  • A48.1 Legionnaires’ disease

  • A48.2 Nonpneumonic Legionnaires’ disease [Pontiac fever]

ICD9

482.84 Pneumonia due to Legionnaires’ disease 

SNOMED

  • 312403005 Legionnaire’s disease (disorder)

  • 19588900...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Legionella is an intracellular organism that can only be grown on buffered charcoal yeast extract agar.

  • Serology is not useful in early stages of the disease (an increase in Legionella ...

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