Innovative Water Consulting
Innovative Water Consulting
Apr 30, 2018 1 min read

Legionnaires’ Disease is the #1 Waterborne Disease in the U.S.

Updated: Nov 16, 2018

Check out this insightful post from Erin Brockovich. We love how she refers to this disease as the "perfect storm." There are always was to help stop an outbreak of this perfect storm! Knowledge = Prevention!

Legionnaires’ Disease is the #1 Waterborne Disease in the United States


Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia-like illness, is the deadliest waterborne disease in the United States, killing about one in eleven people it sickens. There were 6,079 cases reported nationally in 2015 and 5,166 in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s.  The rate of reported cases is rising rapidly, increasing four and a half times since 2000. Provisional 2018 data, tallied through November 3, show a further increase: 7,104 cases, with eight weeks remaining in the year.


The CDC’s 2014-15 report presents detailed data that will be helpful for public health officials who are still trying to understand the rise of a disease that was identified only four decades ago, said Laura Cooley, the head of the CDC’s Legionella team. The report documents the states where the disease is most frequently reported, the types of people who are most susceptible, where they contracted the disease, and how many died. Legionnaires’ is most common in people over age 50 and is most often contracted during the summer and early fall.


Though the average death rate is one in eleven, it was nearly one in four for people who contracted the disease in a hospital or other healthcare facility. Hospitals have complex plumbing systems, which are risk factors for Legionella bacteria growth, while people exposed in these settings may already be ill or have weak immune systems, and thus be more susceptible to the disease.