- The first recorded outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease happened in 1976 in Philadelphia at a conference for American Legion members. There were a total of 182 cases of the disease, 29 of which were fatal.
- Legionnaires’ Disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria.
- Legionnaires’ Disease is also known as legionellosis.
- The disease takes anywhere from 2 to 14 days to take hold within the body.
- There are over 50 species of legionella bacteria. The most common by far is legionella pneumophila.
- Species of legionella are often named after the area in which they were found.
- There is a species of legionella called legionella shakespearei. This species was extracted in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of famed writer William Shakespeare.
- A person usually contracts Legionnaires’ Disease through aerosolization, the process whereby liquid droplets are converted into airborne droplets. These droplets are inhaled into the lungs, where the bacteria multiplies.
- Research has shown that airborne droplets of legionella, when aerosolized through a cooling tower, can travel up to 4 miles from their original position.
- The Soviet Union created a genetically modified version of legionella that could be used as a chemical weapon.