Genesee County health officials warn of increase in Legionnaires' disease cases

20 cases reported in Genesee County so far in 2018


GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. – Health officials in Genesee County are reporting an increase of Legionnaires' disease.

Legionnaires' disease can occur at any time of the year but more illnesses are reported in summer and early fall, according to a release.

So far, 20 cases of the respiratory infection have been reported in Genesee County this year.

READ: What is Legionnaires' disease?

Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Mental changes

Legionella bacteria cause the infection and they can be found in rivers, lakes and streams. They are also found in man-made water supplies that aerosolize water such as cooling towers, hot water tanks, humidifiers, nebulizers, showers, hot tubs and decorative fountains.

Filtering the water will not remove Legionella bacteria.

The bacteria cannot be spread from one person to another person.

Health officials said most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not become infected.

People who are 50 or older, smokers and people with chronic lung disease have a greater risk of becoming infected.

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