Health and Human Services
Bucks County Health Department
-- Main --Bureau of Personal Health and Public Health Preparedness -- Bureau of Environmental Health --
Current Trends in Disease and Conditions
The Bucks County Department of Health monitors communicable disease
and conditions through various methods.
Since the beginning of June 2003, we have noted a sporadic regional
increase in Legionellosis. North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware
and Pennsylvania have had reported cases that reflect a slight increase
in the usual number for the year
Bucks County has had four cases so far this year. For the past six
years 1997- 2002, Bucks has averaged 5.8 cases per year.
FACTS ABOUT LEGIONELLOSIS:
An infection caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila
The disease has two distinct forms
Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever
An estimated 8.000 to 18,000 people get Legionnaires' Disease in
the United States each year.
Legionnaires' Disease is not contagious from one person
to another. People are infected by breathing in the bacteria from
a water source such as whirlpool spas or air conditioning cooling
Usual symptoms are fever, chills and cough, which may be dry or
produce sputum. Some people also have muscle aches, headache, tiredness,
loss of appetite and occasionally, diarrhea. Chest X-rays often show
pneumonia. Lab tests can be performed on bronchial secretions, on
a blood sample or on urine samples.
People that have pre-existing conditions such as chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease or other lung disease are more likely to have more
severe illness. Antibiotic drugs such as erythromycin are used to
treat Legionnaires' Disease.
Information adapted from CDC
Fact Sheet June 2001