Well, boy, it’s got an exotic name. It makes us think of the French Foreign Legion or something, but that’s really not how it all came about. It goes back to 1976 in Philadelphia. There was bicentennial celebrations and the American Legion. A lot of veterans were there, and they all got sick, very sick. I think 29 of them died. Legionnaires is basically a really serious form of the flu.
How is it transmitted?
Well, it’s transmitted mostly though aerosolized water. So, you’re going to find this in cooling systems, in shower heads, in saunas and steams, and any places where you see that. It’s generally something that we associate with the summertime. That’s when it happened in Philadelphia.
We have had three outbreaks of Legionnaires in Memphis, Tennessee in the last 10 years – three of them – all at hotels. There is a range that you must keep the water a certain temperature and if you don’t, then the Legionnaires bacteria will grow, and people get sick.
My firm was very actively involved in all three of those cases. Two of those are pending right now, and so if you know someone or you’ve been exposed to Legionnaires, give us a call. Bailey & Greer: 901-680-9777 or BaileyGreer.com.