Legionnaires’ Disease, or Legionellosis, is a severe, often deadly, form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila, which is chiefly found in water droplets from air conditioners and other similar systems. People typically get sick 2-10 days after breathing in the bacteria, which causes symptoms such as high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, headaches, and diarrhea.

Hawaii has confirmed six cases of Legionellosis this year, including four residents and two visitors to the islands. All cases to date have been classified as isolated and unrelated to each other.

The elderly population, cigarette smokers, and people with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions, such as emphysema or type 2 diabetes, are more likely to develop Legionnaires’ disease.

“Our investigators are working diligently to determine how the individual got infected and what measures can be taken to prevent any future infections from occurring,” said Danette Wong Tomiyasu, deputy director of health resources administration. “As always, we appreciate our ongoing collaboration with healthcare providers to better understand and prevent infectious diseases in Hawaii.”

Source: Hawaii News Now

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