Legionnaires’ disease is the colloquial name for legionellosis, an extremely dangerous respiratory infection caused by an aerobic bacteria of the Legionella genus. This previously unknown strain was first identified in 1976 following a mass outbreak at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. Many of the 130 victims, 25 of whom succumbed to their illness, were attending a convention for the American Legion, giving the form of pneumonia it’s unique name. With fatality rates between 5% and 30% depending on treatment options, it is among the most virulent infectious diseases of the modern era.
The bacteria are water-borne and can only infect people when inhaled in contaminated vapor or mist, making the most common sources of contamination water cooling towers, air conditioning systems, spas, fountains, and other large water features. This often makes it the responsibility of any public venue to properly sterilize and clean their water systems in order to prevent large scale outbreaks from taking place. Negligence in this duty can pose serious health risks, something which we at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® are all too aware can affect a huge number of innocent and unsuspecting people in Milwaukee.
Any water source can be a vector, or carrier, of legionella, but the most dangerous are those that can transmit the bacteria to humans through water vapor. The following are a few of the more common sources of Legionnaires’ disease:
Major outbreaks of the disease are typically the result of negligent maintenance of commercial infrastructure, such as those listed above. The onset of the disease can be subtle and indistinguishable from other general illnesses initially; however, combinations of the following symptoms often indicate a Legionnaires’ disease infection:
Without quick access to medical treatment, the fatality rate for the disease can approach 50%, making early diagnosis a major factor in a person’s survival.
At Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, our legal team understands the shock and confusion that can come with developing a serious illness from an unlikely source, and we are committed to providing comprehensive legal representation for Legionnaires’ patients that have contracted the disease due to the reckless or negligent actions of another party. To learn more about your legal rights and how we may be able to help you obtain compensation, call (414) 271-0900 today.