8 cases of Legionnaires' disease reported this year in Duval County

What you need to know about this type of pneumonia

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There have been eight cases of Legionnaires' disease this year in Duval County.

It's a form of pneumonia that's treatable but can be fatal. 

A tip to News4Jax suggested Legionnaires’ disease is showing up in area health care facilities. After checking with area hospitals, that does not appear to be the case.   

News4Jax did learn there have been eight cases of Legionnaires' disease in Duval County since the beginning of the year and 144 cases statewide.

From June 1, 2018, to present, those numbers are much higher -- 33 cases in Duval County and 480 cases statewide.

Officials with the Duval County Health Department would not tell News4Jax where the cases originated or whether they are centered at a particular facility or area of town.  

VIEW: Legionnaires' disease fact sheet

Here is what you need to know about Legionnaires' disease:

How did it get its name?

The disease takes its name from the outbreak in 1976 at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. Within a week, more than 200 people had been hospitalized and 34 had died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is it?

It’s a type of severe pneumonia caused by breathing in small droplets of water that contain the bacteria Legionella.

What are the symptoms?

Legionnaires' disease can cause these symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache and fever.

Who's at an increased risk for the disease?

People prone to the disease are former and current smokers, those with a chronic lung disease and those with a weak immune system.

What are the common sources of infection?

Some common sources for the infection are cooling towers, decorative fountains, showers, hot tubs and water heaters.

Health officials point out that the main thing to take away is Legionnaires' disease is treatable with antibiotics. 

Click here to search reportable diseases on the Florida Department of Health's website.

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