Contracting Legionnaires’ disease can be a serious issue. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious that this is what has happened, as a lot of the symptoms fall under that catch-all category of being ‘like the flu.’ In the initial stages of the infection, the symptoms include headaches and pain throughout the muscles, accompanied by a high fever (usually above 38°C or 100.4°F). There will also be spells of fatigue and chills alternating with the periods of feeling excessively hot. After this initial period, the contamination often begins spreading to the victim’s lungs.
The disease’s incubation period tends to last between six and seven days, although it can persist for considerably longer – anything up to three weeks. Once the Legionella bacteria get into the respiratory system, they will provoke a persistent dry cough. Over time, this will become less dry and the patient will begin coughing up a lot of phlegm (sometimes blood). This will run in tandem with a shortness of breath and frequent chest pains. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should arrange an appointment with your GP as a matter of urgency.
What can pre-empt an outbreak?
Contracting Legionnaires’ disease is only possible when infected droplets of water are inhaled directly — it is not contagious. Unlike flu, with which it shares many symptoms, it cannot be contracted through being in the company of someone already contaminated. Travel history can be an important consideration, given that the incubation period can be anything between one and three weeks. The main things that contribute to the Legionella bacteria flourishing are impurities in the water, particularly in artificial water supply outlets such as air conditioning, and a water temperature between 20 and 25°C.
No-obligation advice is an option
If you have been affected by Legionnaires’ disease and would like to find out more about the possibilities of compensation, you should contact Accident Advice Helpline. We are here to investigate the circumstances surrounding situations in which anyone has suffered through the negligence of others. If you dial our free helpline on 0800 689 0500, we will ensure that you are put in touch with our team of compensation claims lawyers. They have many years’ experience in providing no-obligation advice for people in similar predicaments, and we will advise whether you might qualify for redress.
Date Published: May 11, 2015
Author: David Brown