(CNN & CDC) – The City of Atlanta is dealing with the Largest Outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease in the city’s history.
Health Officials say there are 11 confirmed cases, 63 probable cases, and one death has been linked to the Sheraton Hotel in the City.
So now the question is what is Legionnaire’s Disease and what makes it so dangerous?
Health Experts say Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella Bacteria. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Legionnaires’ (LEE-juh-nares) disease is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella (LEE-juh-nell-a) bacteria. People can get sick when they breathe in mist or accidently swallow water into the lungs containing Legionella.”
The Georgia Department of Public Health says it is a bacteria, typically found in warm freshwaters, like hot tubs, hot water tanks, and decorative fountains.
It can be found in showerheads and plumbing systems in large buildings.
But when it grows in a man-made setting, it can become dangerous.
Water droplets containing legionella get into the air and people breath it in.
Symptoms of general pneumonia-like coughing, muscle aches, fever, shortness of breath and headaches can occur.
Health Officials say Legionnaires’ Disease can typically be treated with antibiotics, but people over the age of 50, people with (COPD) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, past or current smokers, or those with a weakened immune system are at a greater risk.
According to the CDC, about 1 in 10 people infected with Legionnaire’s Disease dies.
For more information on Legionnaire’s Disease visit: https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html
WATCH: Over 40 victims file a lawsuit due to being exposed to Legionnaire’s Disease at an Atlanta Hotel