Legionnaires Disease | FAQ


What is the death rate of Legionnaires Disease?

CDC data indicates “Legionnaires’ disease is deadly for about 10% of people who get it.”

Because underlying disease and advanced age not only increase the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease but also the risk of dying from it, the death rate is higher among hospital patients, nursing home residents, and people with weakened immune systems.

People who are diagnosed soon after infection and treated with the right antibiotics are much more likely to survive. According to the World Health Organization, the death rate may be as high as 40-80% for immune-suppressed people who do not receive treatment and 5-30% for those who do.

Only a small percentage of Legionnaires’ disease cases are detected. In some instances, even when the disease is diagnosed, it is too late. For example, according to August 2009 news reports, a 46-year-old UK woman who contracted Legionnaires’ disease was initially misdiagnosed with swine flu (H1N1) and thus told by an ambulance crew that she did not need hospitalization. The ambulance crew was called two days later but again refused to take her to the hospital. She ended up getting to the hospital that day, but died four days later.

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