Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella bacteria. People can get sick when they breathe in small droplets of water containing the Legionella bacteria.
Less commonly, people can get sick by aspiration of drinking water containing Legionella. This happens when water accidently goes into the lungs while drinking. People at increased risk of aspiration include those with swallowing difficulties. In general, people do not spread Legionella to other people.
Legionella bacteria thrives and can potentially be spread from cooling towers, air conditioning units, pools, spas, or reclaimed water sources.
Talk to your doctor or local health department if
- You believe you were exposed to Legionella
- You develop symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills, or muscle aches