- Researchers looked at Legionnaires' cases in 20 states and one city
- Cases were linked to hospitals, long-term care facilities and outpatient clinics
- "People should go to the hospital to get better, not to get a new infection," CDC director says
Dr. Anne Schuchat is the acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(CNN)Over forty years ago, a group of American Legionnaires returning from a convention in Philadelphia were sickened with a mystery respiratory disease. Sadly, some died, and many others were hospitalized. This sudden illness prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch the agency's largest outbreak investigation to date, sending more than 20 disease detectives into the field to try to find the source and activating hundreds at headquarters to evaluate specimens in order to find the source of the severe pneumonia.
- Doctors can "think Legionella" when treating patients at increased risk for Legionnaires' disease who have health care-associated pneumonia.
- Doctors can evaluate patients with pneumonia using tests that will detect Legionnaires' disease.
- Health care facility leaders can maintain a safe water program by building a team and executing a safe water plan.
- Clinicians and laboratory staff can quickly alert local public health authorities if a Legionnaires' disease case is identified, and work with them to identify the source of infection and other cases.