Potentially Fatal Disease Spread thru Water Reported in Illinois
It's fortunately a disease you don't hear much about anymore, but it's still does appear every now and then. A serious lung infection that is spread through water systems is now reported in Illinois and there are things to watch out for.
I saw NBC Chicago report that Legionnaires' disease has been confirmed in Shelby County, Illinois where 3 residents have been hospitalized. As Mayo Clinic mentions, this disease produces "a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection".
The Center for Disease Control shared a frightening statistic about Legionnaires' disease saying that "about one in 10 people who gets sick from Legionnaires’ disease will die". The good news is that most healthy people with fully-functioning immune systems will not become ill when coming in contact with the water droplets that contain it. But, for the elderly, those that smoke or anyone with a compromised immune system, this condition can be real trouble.
The CDC say that Legionnaires' disease cannot be spread person-to-person. The Center for Disease Control mentions that Legionnaires' can develop into what is known as Pontiac fever among the relatively healthy bringing about flu-like symptoms that are often not diagnosed as it resembles regular seasonal flu outbreaks. Most cases of Pontiac fever are not serious and will heal on their own.
As of this writing, these 3 cases in Shelby County, Illinois are the only ones known in the state and there's no reason to believe that more cases should be expected although investigations of water systems are being done as a precaution.