OCHD: Legionnaires' cases up in 3 W. MI counties

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials are warning about an uptick of Legionnaires’ disease in Ottawa, Kent and Muskegon counties.

The Ottawa County Health Department says the increase is in line with what’s happening nationwide, and they haven’t identified any common source for recent cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaire’s disease is a type of severe lung infection caused by breathing in moisture contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The infection is most commonly linked to shower water, air conditioning cooling towers, decorative fountains and hot tubs.

While most people infected by Legionnaires fully recover, one out of 10 people die from the infection, the CDC says.

Most healthy people do not contract Legionnaire’s disease when exposed to the bacteria, but age, a history of smoking, lung disease and a weakened immune system can increase your risk.

Symptoms include cough, muscle aches, fever, shortness of breath, and headache. Anyone with these symptoms who may have been exposed to Legionella are urged to see a doctor immediately.



CDC on Legionnaire’s disease

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