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Legionnaire's Disease Bacteria Found at South Bronx Public Housing

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Just weeks after a massive Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak caused by cooling towers in New York, a public housing facility in the South Bronx has tested positive for Legionella. There have been 4 cases??at the facility in the last 6 months. Residents are??understandably frustrated but hopeful the problem will be resolved soon. Read the full article from ABC Local News here.

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CDC Director Testifies Before Subcommittee

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???We missed the broader pattern.???

CDC Director Thomas Frieden acknowledged the CDC???s historically flawed reactive approach to handling anthrax and H5N1 bird flu last week before the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Their attitude on these bacteria is comparable to their approach with Legionella, which is solely reactive as well.

The CDC only recommends testing a building???s water for Legionella after an outbreak has occurred, a stance for which they have been highly criticized. Proactive testing could have prevented several outbreaks of Legionella across the country, manifesting in several fatalities in numerous states including Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Ohio. Legionella is not transferred person-to-person like other pneumonias and is exclusively contracted from environmental sources. ?? The bacteria can be found in almost every corner of the world and can grow in just about any type of building. Since its discovery in 1976, over 900,000 cases of Legionella have been documented.??For this reason, many experts have been highly critical of the CDC???s ???test-after??? approach, as testing a building???s water is the only way to determine if Legionella bacteria are present in the water.

Director Frieden is reviewing the CDC???s approach, and said at a press conference in regard to their past mishaps with other bacteria, ???Events like this should never happen, and that???s why I will do everything in my power to make sure that nothing like this happens again.???

You can read the full article published on Forbes here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2014/07/22/cdc-errs-in-policy-as-well-as-handling-dangerous-pathogens/

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Symptoms of Legionnaires' Disease

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The symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease are most similar to those of pneumonia, so it can be difficult to diagnose early on. The most common symptoms of the disease include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Other common symptoms include recurring muscle aches and headaches.

Chest X-rays are often used to locate the pneumonia, and other tests can be done on sputum or phlegm, as well as blood and urine tests can be used to determine evidence of the bacteria in the body. These symptoms usually begin within 2 to 14 days after initial exposure to the bacteria.

A milder variation of the infection is known as Pontiac Fever. The symptoms of Pontiac Fever usually last for 2 to 5 days and may also include fever, headaches, and muscle aches. These symptoms typically go away on their own without treatment and without causing further problems. Because the two diseases are so similar, it can be difficult to determine which of the two you could be suffering from.

Treatments for Legionnaires??? Disease

Legionnaires??? disease can be quite serious and has been known to cause fatalities in 5% to 30% of all diagnosed cases if not treated in a timely manner. Most cases are treated successfully with antibiotics, and healthy people usually recover from infection over time.