Legionnaires’ Disease

This uncommon form of pneumonia is caused by the Legionella bacteria which thrives in hot, moist conditions in soil and water. Air-conditioning, cooling towers and jacuzzi baths may be a source of infection if they have not been properly cleaned and maintained.

Infection cannot be spread from person-to-person and is usually contracted by inhalation of aerosol droplets from a contaminated cooling tower or spa. The incubation period is approximately ten days. Smokers, or those with weakened immunity, are most at risk.


Typical symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease include headaches, fever, chills, diarrhoea and muscle aches followed by respiratory problems and pneumonia.


There is no vaccine for Legionnaires’ Disease. Avoid using hot tubs and spa baths that do not appear to have been properly maintained.


The disease is treatable with antibiotics.