As spring and summer begin to settle in, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department wants to make sure residents are aware of Legionnaires' Disease (LD) risk factors.
LD is a serious type of lung infection that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with Legionella, with an incubation period of one to two weeks before the symptoms set in. Most people who get sick need care from a hospital and do make a full recovery. However, health department officials said that one in 10 people will die from the infection.
According to the health department, LD is on the rise. A statement from the department revealed that Ohio leads the country in reported LD cases, with a 50 percent increase in cases from 2017 to 2018.
Over the past few years, several Legionella cases have been linked to either cooling towers or hot tub use and proximity during the incubation period. With temperatures on the rise, many air conditioning units and cooling towers will be running continuously. The health department wants to encourage effective treatment of these cooling systems through proper maintenance and disinfectants.
Health department officials said that most healthy people do not get LD after exposure to Legionella. The people at increased risk are those over 50 years of age and have certain risk factors like a chronic lung disease or a weakened immune system.
If you have any questions, visit the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department website.