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Legionnaires Disease


Legionnaires disease (LD) is a lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria can be found in many water sources. You can get LD by breathing in steam or water droplets that contain Legionella bacteria. LD cannot be passed from one person to another.



  • Antibiotics help treat a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do not smoke:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking increases your risk for lung infections. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.

Prevent LD:

You may be able to kill the bacteria that cause LD by regularly cleaning the places they grow. You may need to use a special cleaning fluid to kill the bacteria. Ask which cleaning fluids you should use.

  • Have your air-conditioning system, hot tubs, or water tanks cleaned regularly.
  • If you have a humidifier, follow the instructions on how to keep it clean.
  • If you use a nebulizer, follow the instructions on how to use and keep your nebulizer clean.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have chills, shaking, or fever.
  • You have very dry skin, dry mouth and tongue, or feel very thirsty.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You cannot stop vomiting.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You feel dizzy, or have problems thinking clearly and remembering things.
  • You have shortness of breath.
  • You have sudden chest pain.
  • Your symptoms become worse, even after you take your medicine.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Legionnaires Disease (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex