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ID#:10158
Description:This light photomicrograph depicted numbers of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria that had been extracted from the peritoneum of a Guinea pig, which had been stained using the Gimenez method. These organisms are responsible for causing the disease known as “Legionnaires’” disease.

Legionellosis disease has two distinct forms:

-Legionnaires' disease, the more severe form of infection which includes pneumonia, and

-Pontiac fever, a milder illness.

Legionnaires' disease acquired its name in 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia occurred among persons attending a convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia. Later, the bacterium causing the illness was named Legionella.
What are the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires' disease can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body.

Symptoms usually begin 2-14 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

A milder infection caused by the same type of Legionella bacteria is called Pontiac Fever, symptoms of which usually last for 2-5 days and may also include fever, headaches, and muscle aches; however, there is no pneumonia. Symptoms resolve on their own without treatment and without causing further problems.

Pontiac Fever and Legionnaires’ disease may also be called “Legionellosis” separately or together.

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (6.58 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Dr. Joseph McDade
Creation Date:1978
Photo Credit:
Links:CDC – Div. of bacterial and Mycotic Diseases – Legionellosis: Legionnaire's Disease (LD) and Pontiac Fever
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.

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