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8 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Ottawa County

Krystle Wagner • Aug 25, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Eight confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease have been reported in Ottawa County, according to the county’s health department. Five cases alone have been reported so far this month.

According to a press release issued Thursday, a common source hasn’t been identified related to the recent cases.

Looking back to 2009, Ottawa County was averaging 2.3 cases of Legionnaire’s disease a year, according to the health department. The county had zero cases in 2017 and three confirmed in 2016.

Reported cases are on the rise in West Michigan, the state and nation.

More than 292 cases have been reported so far this year in Michigan, according to the Michigan Disease Surveillance System weekly disease report. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s report takes suspected, probable and confirmed cases into account.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of severe pneumonia, a lung infection, caused by breathing in droplets of water containing Legionella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include a fever, cough, headache, muscle aches, and shortness of breath.

Individuals at an increased risk for Legionnaires’ disease are age 50 and older, a former or current smoker, have chronic lung disease, take medication that weakens your immune system, and have a weakened immune system from a disease such as cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure.

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