A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at St. Elizabeth Hall, an independent living apartment complex on the Stella Maris campus in the Baltimore suburb of Timonium, MD has sickened two people. Officials from Stella Maris, the nonprofit long-term care facility, said St. Elizabeth Hall operates on a separate water system from the rest of campus and that they have instituted water restrictions there as they conduct tests and treatments.
Last year, there were 187 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Maryland. Thirty-three of them were in Baltimore County.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. People contract Legionnaires’ disease when they inhale water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The flu-like symptoms of a Legionella infection, which include headache, cough, high fever, muscle aches and shortness of breath, usually develop within 10 days of exposure and last about a week.
Legionella bacteria grow best in warm water. They are often found in the cooling towers, plumbing or air-conditioning systems of large buildings, and in pools, hot tubs or fountains.
Most people with Legionnaires’ disease require hospitalization. About one of every ten cases is fatal.
Legionnaires’ disease poses elevated risks for some people, especially those over 50, people who smoke, or people who have chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems.
During outbreaks, health officials recommend that people living in affected buildings refrain from using tap water to shower, brush teeth or prepare medications. Residents can use tap water to wash hands and flush toilets in most cases.
Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyers
Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman lead the team of Legionnaires’ disease lawyers at Pritzker Hageman. They represent clients nationwide who have been sickened and the families who have lost loved ones in Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. If you would like a free consultation about a Legionnaires’ disease lawsuit, you can contact them with this online form. Or, call 1(888) 377-8900 toll-free to reach them in their offices.