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Do You Know What Legionnaires' Disease Is?

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease traced to a Las Vegas hotel and casino might have you in Faifield County wondering just what this illness is?

Legionnaires' disease -- which got its name from an outbreak of the illness at a 1976 American Legion convention in Philadelphia -- is similar to many forms of pneumonia, the Centers for Disease Control says.

The disease is not spread from person to person, the CDC says. According to the CDC: "People get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) that has been contaminated with the bacteria. One example might be from breathing in the steam from a whirlpool spa that has not been properly cleaned and disinfected."

Symptoms include high fever, chills, a cough, muscle aches and headaches. The illnesses hospitalizes between 8,000 and 18,000 Americans each year. The disease can be fatal but is usually treated successfully with antiobiotics, the CDC says.

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