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Legionnaires' disease being investigated in St. Johns County

2:52 PM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
Legionella pneumophila Bacteria cause Legionnaire's disease, which was named after the original outbreak in 1976 at the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. The disease infects the lungs.
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A case of Legionnaires' disease is being investigated by the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County.

The person affected was attending a conference in the St. Augustine area, according to a Department of Health press release. The unknown person is receiving medical care.

According to the release, there is no evidence at this time that the person acquired the disease locally.

"While Legionnaires' disease can be serious, it is important to remember that most people exposed to the bacteria do not become ill and Legionnaires' disease is not spread from person to person," said Dawn C. Allicock, MD, MPH, CPH, Director and Health Officer of the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County.

Legionnaires' disease can be very serious, yet most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics and healthy people usually recover from infection.

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia, also known as lung infection, caused by Legionella bacteria. The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in warm water. The release states that people get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor that has been contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Symptoms of the disease usually begin two to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria. They include high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, headaches.

First Coast News

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