Skip to Main Content

Facts & Figures of Legionellosis

What causes Legionellosis?

Many different types of bacteria can cause respiratory diseases. Ranging in seriousness from Streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) to much more deadly pathogens like Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Vibrio cholerae (cholera), bacterial infections of the respiratory tract present a major challenge for health care providers around the world. Tuberculosis alone is estimated to make up to 10 million people per year sick.  

A serious bacterial infection that has gained a lot of notoriety lately in the media is Legionellosis – also known as Legionnaire’s DiseaseThe illness is commonly caused by inhaling water vapour containing the pathogen from sources like air conditioners, hot tubs or humidifiers.  Legionellosis can present as either the flu-like Pontiac fever or the more serious and commonlyknown Legionnaires’ disease, which can cause a life threatening form of pneumonia.  


Here are some interesting facts about Legionellosis: 

Where did the name Legionnaires’ disease come from? – The disease gained its name after an outbreak amoungst attendees at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. 

1976 – The year of the outbreak that caused researchers to go looking for a common cause to the unknown illness. 

Why Pontiac fever? – Once the pathogen had been identified, doctors realized that a previous outbreak of a mysterious flu at the Pontiac, Michigan health department in 1968 had been caused by the same bacteria. 

4% – The percentage that Legionnaires’ disease represents of all community-acquired pneumonias. 

2 to 10 days – The typical incubation period for Legionnaires’ disease. In rare cases, it can take upwards of two weeks to develop. 

2 to 48 hours – The typical incubation period for Pontiac fever. 

35 Degrees Celsius – The optimal water temperature for Legionella bacteria to grow. 

Is Legionnaires’ disease contagious? – No. Legionella is not transmitted person to person. 

Is there a vaccine for Legionnaires’ disease? – No. Legionnaires’ disease requires treatment with antibiotics. Pontiac fever is typically treated with rest and hydration but not antibiotics.  


At LuminUltra, we work with clients around the world who are regularly engaged in monitoring microbe levels in many types of water suppliesWith our suite of DNA-based products and services, 2nd Generation ATP testing kitsLuminUltra Cloud software and customer support, we offer rapid and reliable solutions to these challenges. All over the world water safety is a critical issue. When it comes to serious pathogens like Legionellaif you aren’t aware of it you cant control it. 


Stacey Pineau

Clearly explaining complex topics has been Stacey’s focus for close to 25 years now. She helps plan how best to reach the right people, then works to provide them with relevant information that’s easy to understand. Stacey is a team player with an entrepreneurial spirit. She has broad experience that spans the private and public sectors. A lover of words, Stacey has a slightly irrational love of the library and a personal collection of way too many books and magazines. She lives in Fredericton with her husband Ray, their two children and dog Scouty.

Related Posts

Microbes Run the World

  Microbes run the world. They are the governing agents behind the conversion of key elements into vital biological forms. They remove toxins from their environments, and protect us from disease-causing organisms. Microbes do not, however, go to battle alone. Microbe armies live in complex communities that follow intricate processes and interactions to ensure environmental… Read More

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now