Causes of Legionnaires' disease


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Cause of Legionnaires' disease: Legionnaires' disease is most often contracted by inhaling mist from water sources such as whirlpool baths, showers, and cooling towers that are contaminated with Legionella bacteria. There is no evidence for person-to-person spread of the disease.1

Outbreaks of legionellosis have occurred after persons have breathed mists that come from a water source (e.g., air conditioning cooling towers, whirlpool spas, showers) contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Persons may be exposed to these mists in homes, workplaces, hospitals, or public places.2

Cause details for Legionnaires' disease: Legionella organisms can be found in many types of water systems. However, the bacteria reproduce to high numbers in warm, stagnant water (90°-105° F), such as that found in certain plumbing systems and hot water tanks, cooling towers and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems, and whirlpool spas.2

Related information for causes of Legionnaires' disease: Further relevant information on causes of Legionnaires' disease may be found in the risk factors for Legionnaires' disease and underlying causes of Legionnaires' disease.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Legionnaires' Disease: NIEHS_1
2. excerpt from Legionellosis (General): DBMD

Last revision: May 30, 2003

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