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The CDC & Legionnaires' Disease

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Source: CDC

Image from the CDC Fact Sheet

What is Legionnaires' Disease?

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by legionella bacteria.


Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. The bacteria can become a health concern when they grow and spread in human-made building water systems like cooling towers or complex plumbing systems. This happens when water is not properly maintained and small droplets of water that contain the bacteria get into the air and people breathe them in.


Pulled from the CDC's latest surveillance report from 2016-2017, a total of 63,529 cases have been confirmed between 2000-2017.


Of these cases, 9 in 10 are preventable with proper building water treatment management. One of the most common sources of which are cooling towers.