Prevalence and Incidence of Legionnaires' disease


About prevalence and incidence statistics: The term 'prevalence' of Legionnaires' disease usually refers to the estimated population of people who are managing Legionnaires' disease at any given time. The term 'incidence' of Legionnaires' disease refers to the annual diagnosis rate, or the number of new cases of Legionnaires' disease diagnosed each year. Hence, these two statistics types can differ: a short-lived disease like flu can have high annual incidence but low prevalence, but a life-long disease like diabetes has a low annual incidence but high prevalence. For more information see about prevalence and incidence statistics.

Incidence (annual) of Legionnaires' disease: 1,108 annual cases notified in USA 1999 (MMWR 1999)
Incidence Rate: approx 1 in 245,487 or 0.00% or 1,107 people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Legionnaires' disease: An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people get Legionnaires' disease in the United States each year. Some people can be infected with the Legionella bacterium and have mild symptoms or no illness at all. 1 ... An estimated 8,000 - 18,000 cases occur each year in the United States; 23% are nosocomial. Most LD cases are sporadic; 10% - 20% can be linked to outbreaks. Pontiac fever has been recognized only during outbreaks.2

Incidence statistics about Legionnaires' disease: The following statistics relate to the incidence of Legionnaires' disease:

  • 0.19 per 100,000 in Canada 20003
  • 1.6 new cases of legionellosis per 100,000 population was notified in Australia 2002 (Yohannes K, Roche P, Blumer C et al. 2004, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)
  • 318 new cases of legionellosis was notified in Australia 2002 (Yohannes K, Roche P, Blumer C et al. 2004, Australia’s Health 2004, AIHW)

1. excerpt from Legionellosis (General): DBMD
2. excerpt from Legionellosis: DBMD
3. Notifiable Diseases Online, PPHB, Canada, 2000

Last revision: May 30, 2003

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