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Las Vegas Legionnaires’ Attorney

Legionnaires’ disease, a serious lung infection known as pneumonia, is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. This bacterium thrives in aquatic environments and can pose significant health risks when it proliferates in man-made water systems like cooling towers, hot water tanks, extensive plumbing systems, and decorative fountains.

History of Legionnaires’

In 1976, an outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia marked the first identification of the disease, which caused the deaths of 34 individuals and sickened more than 200. This outbreak led to the discovery of the previously unknown bacterium, Legionella pneumophila, as the causative agent.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease

People exposed to Legionella pneumophila may develop a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Cough:
    • Often persistent and may produce mucus or phlegm.
    • Sometimes, the cough can be dry and non-productive.
  • Shortness of Breath:
    • Difficulty in breathing or feeling out of breath.
    • It may occur even with minimal physical activity and can be severe in some cases.
  • Fever:
    • High body temperature, often exceeding 102°F (39°C).
    • It may be accompanied by chills and sweats.
  • Muscle Aches:
    • Pain and discomfort in the muscles.
    • It can be widespread and intense, leading to significant discomfort.
  • Headaches:
    • Persistent or severe headaches.
    • It can be accompanied by other symptoms like dizziness or light sensitivity.
  • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea:
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms may appear in some cases.
    • These symptoms can lead to dehydration and further complications if not managed properly.

Each of these symptoms can vary in intensity and may not all be present in every individual. Early detection and treatment are crucial to prevent severe complications.

Risk Factors for Legionnaires’ Disease

Some people are more susceptible to Legionnaires’ disease than others. These include:

Older Adults

Individuals aged 50 and above are at significantly higher risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease. The immune system naturally weakens with age, making it harder to fight off infections. Moreover, older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions that further increase their vulnerability.

Smokers

Smokers are at an elevated risk due to the damage smoking causes to lung tissue. This damage impairs the lungs’ ability to clear inhaled particles and bacteria, creating a more favorable environment for Legionella bacteria to establish an infection. Both current smokers and those with a history of heavy smoking are at risk.

People With a Weakened Immune System

People with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to Legionnaires’ disease. This group includes those on immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy, which are used to treat autoimmune diseases, cancers, or organ transplants. These medications reduce the body’s ability to mount an effective immune response.

High-Risk Occupations

People working in jobs that involve frequent exposure to water systems, such as construction, maintenance of water systems, or working in places with large plumbing systems (e.g., hotels, hospitals, or cruise ships), may have an increased risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria.

How Is Legionella Spread?

Legionella bacteria are primarily spread by inhaling aerosolized water droplets containing the bacteria.

Aerosolized Water Droplets

The most common way Legionella bacteria are transmitted is through inhalation of tiny water droplets (aerosols) that contain the bacteria. These droplets can be produced by various water sources and systems.

Common sources include cooling towers, showers, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and large plumbing systems. Activities that disturb water, such as spraying or bubbling, can release these droplets into the air.

Water Systems

If not properly maintained, cooling towers used in air conditioning and industrial cooling can harbor Legionella bacteria, which can spread through the air as the tower operates.

Legionella bacteria thrive in warm water environments, especially in temperatures between 68°F and 122°F (20°C to 50°C). Hot water systems that are not regularly disinfected can be a source of contamination.

Complex plumbing systems in large buildings, such as hotels, hospitals, and office buildings, can harbor Legionella if water stagnates and temperatures are conducive to bacterial growth.

Facts About Legionnaires’ Disease in Las Vegas

In January 2023, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) was informed of two cases of Legionnaires’ disease at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Samples were taken from two hotel rooms, and the samples tested positive for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. As part of the investigation, 283 people completed a survey regarding exposure. 116 possible cases were investigated, 10 probable cases of Legionnaires’ disease were identified, and 22 probable Pontiac fever cases.

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) has conducted investigations at another hotel previously. In June 2011, there were reports of two cases staying at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. This hotel had cases of Legionnaires’ disease in 2009 and 2010. Twenty-five samples were taken from the hotel, and seven samples from four different rooms showed some level of Legionella, six of those were linked to Legionella pneumophila serotype 1.

Get In Touch

Have you been affected by Legionnaires’ disease? You deserve answers and justice. Call (833) 330-3663 or message us online for a free consultation. We will leave no stone unturned in investigating your case and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you are entitled to. Reach out now for your free consultation!

Legionnaires’ Disease Resources