Legionnaires' disease (Legionella) is an infectious disease that manifests itself in the form of severe pneumonia. For this disease characterized by serious disorders of the kidney function and central nervous system, as well as general intoxication.
The pathogens of legionnaires are legionella aerobic bacteria. The natural place of their habitation - the soil and reservoirs. The disease is not transmitted from person to person.
The disease of legionnaires is transmitted mainly by aerosol. Infection occurs when inhalation of water or dust aerosol from cooling systems, in conducting excavation and construction works.
There have been recorded cases of infection of patients in medical institutions during intubation, ultrasonic disintegrator therapy, vortex baths.
The susceptibility of the human body to the pathogen is high. Patients who abuse alcoholic beverages, who smoke, have an anamnesis of endocrine disorders, chronic lung diseases are at the highest risk of infection. The disease does not recur.
Disease of Legionnaires: Symptoms
The incubation period lasts from an average of 2 to 10 days. Symptoms of the disease are found predominantly after the end of the incubation period:
- Loss of appetite;
- Increase in body temperature to 39-40 degrees;
- Classic signs of severe intoxication;
- Joint pain;
- Muscle weakness and pain;
- Signs of damage to the central nervous system (hallucinations, fainting, emotional lability, retardation, delusions, loss of creation);
- Paralysis of the oculomotor muscles;
A few days after the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease, the patient starts a cough - initially dry, and then with bloody sputum or mucous-purulent. Shortness of breath, severe pain in the chest area may develop. Particularly characteristic pain in accompanying fibrinous pleurisy.
Disease of Legionnaires: Diagnosis and Treatment
X-ray examination may be used to confirm the diagnosis. On the X-ray, focal infiltrations of different localization are visualized. After a while, they merge into a single conglomerate, forming a massive focal area of the eclipse in the form of partial, and in some cases, total pneumonia.
Legionnaires are characterized by rapid progression. Severe pneumonia is difficult to treat. In addition, in some patients, the condition is complicated by the development of concomitant diseases - exudative pleurisies, abscesses, infectious-toxic shock. Cardiovascular and respiratory failure may develop. In this case, an immediate transfer of patients to artificial ventilation of the lungs is required.
For the treatment of the disease active antibiotic preparations of the macrolide group are carried out.