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Pontiac Fever


  • Pontiac fever is a flu-like condition caused by Legionella germs. You may get infected when you breathe in steam or water droplets filled with Legionella and other germs. You may also get Legionella germs by choking on infected liquids and foods. Signs and symptoms of Pontiac fever usually appear 12 to 36 hours after you breathe in the germs. You may have a dry cough, sore throat, fever with chills, or muscle pain. You may have headaches, feel dizzy, or have an upset stomach. You may also have problems thinking clearly and have trouble falling asleep.
  • Your caregiver will ask what symptoms you have and how bad they are. He may ask which places or countries you have visited lately. You may need to have your blood and urine tested for Legionella germs. There is no specific treatment for Pontiac fever. The condition will usually go away on its own. Most people will get well, and their signs and symptoms may decrease and disappear completely.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him 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.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Preventing Pontiac fever:

Pontiac fever may be prevented by regularly cleaning the places where the germs may grow. You may need to use a special cleaning fluid to kill the germs that cause Pontiac fever. Ask your caregiver for more information on which cleaning fluids to use. You may also do the following:

  • Have your air-conditioning system, hot tubs, or water tanks cleaned often.
  • Tell your caregiver if you think someone you work or live with may have Pontiac fever.

For more information:

Contact any of the following for more information:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Road
    Atlanta , GA 30333
    Phone: 1- 404 - 6393311
    Phone: 1- 800 - 3113435
    Web Address:


  • You have chills or a fever.
  • Someone in your home or workplace has similar signs and symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.


  • You have very dry skin, dry mouth and tongue, or feel very thirsty.
  • Your symptoms become worse.

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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.