Once more, it appears perhaps a prudent time to take a step back to examine Legionnaires’ disease. As such, while in a previous post we discussed some of the signs, symptoms, and diagnostic methods for identifying Legionnaires’ disease, today’s post seeks to review the history of Legionnaires’ disease.
While Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease has presumably existed for a very long time, it was only truly discovered and researched after an outbreak in 1976. At a convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia, numerous attendees began to suffer from this type of pneumonia, i.e. lung infection, a phenomena which garnered national attention, including being the subject of numerous national magazine covers such as Time and Newsweek. All of this attention and the fact that it had been primarily discovered due to it occurring at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia prompted individuals to identify the bacteria as Legionella and to ultimately recognize the phenomena as Legionnaires’ disease.
All in all, the 1976 convention involved 182 attendees contracting the disease while 29 of those who had contracted the disease ended up dying, a staggering figure which has made public health officials since then that much more cautious about water safety and the need for proper water distribution systems. Indeed the beginnings of Legionnaires’ disease and how it became to be known serve as a stark reminder of just how important it is for there to be vigilance when it comes to Legionella bacteria and the potential for Legionnaires’ disease.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.