According to data from the CDC, the number of deaths caused by Legionnaires’ Disease has just about tripled over the past two decades. In 2002 there was 63 deaths directly attributed to Legionnaires’ Disease. The CDC reported 170 deaths caused by Legionnaires’ Disease in 2015, the most recent year that was analyzed. When Legionnaires’ Disease is taken into account as a contributing factor to death, the number of deaths in 2015 increases to 217. Legionnaires’ Disease is the underlying cause of death in 78.3% of fatalities associated with the disease. The data also shows that the mortality rate for Legionnaires’ Disease has increased by 89.2% from 1999-2015.
The sharp increase in deaths is associated with the rise of Legionnaires’ Disease cases in the country. The number of cases recorded by the CDC has increased from 1,100 cases in 2000 to 6,079 cases in 2016. In 2016, the CDC released an article in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report entitled, Legionnaires Disease on Rise in US, in order to detail and present possible explanations for the rise in cases. The article lists higher rates of diagnoses due to technological advances as one of the main possible reasons for the spike. Among others, America’s aging population, an increase in use of immunocompromising medications, America’s aging infrastructure, and climate change as possible explanations.
A chart detailing the rise of Legionnaires’-related deaths has been included in this post. More information and interactive charts about Legionnaires’ Disease can be found here.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.