Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. You usually get it by breathing in mist from water that contains the bacteria. The mist may come from plumbing systems (taps or showers), hot water tanks, jacuzzis etc. The bacteria particularly like warm stagnant water.
There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission.
There are on average about 10 cases of Legionnaires Disease reported each year in Ireland. It effects all ages but it is more commonly seen in people over the age of 50, people with chronic illness, smokers, heavy drinkers and people with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include fever, chills, and a cough that may be dry or wet. Some patients have muscle aches, headache, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Legionnaires' disease is treated with antibiotics.
Legionnaires' disease can be prevented through routine maintenance of water systems and minimising water stagnation.
For further information please contact DCU Health and Safety Office.