Though there are many diseases, which seniors suffer from, caregivers everywhere are being asked to be vigilant for signs that point to Legionnaire’s Disease. What is this big deal on Legionnaire’s disease?
The Threat of Legionella
According to an article by US News the recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease, cause by the Legionella strain of bacteria, on August 6, 2015 called health care workers for action in efforts to contain the said disease.
It stated that 10 out of the 100 people infected have already passed and these individuals were all seniors with other medical conditions and complications. The same article notes that the disease has an incubation time of 10-14 days and can spread easily through air conditioning as it is a water and soil-borne bacteria that can be contracted by either inhalation or drinking water. It also thrives well in warm environments.
Though the article also stated that Legionnaire’s disease can be treated and does not spread from person to person, those at high-risk can still die from it. Symptoms manifest much like the ones found in flu or pneumonia. These would include high fever, muscle aches, coughs, shortness of breath, headaches and chills. The reason why many die from this disease is through respiratory failure and that the patient is not treated early on in the game.
Who are of high risk for Legionnaire’s disease?
It is to be noted that seniors are among those who are highly susceptible to the disease aside from smokers and those suffering from respiratory conditions. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, other susceptible victims of this disease are former smokers, those with a weak immune system, and people suffering with complications and people who take drugs that often weaken the immune system.
Given that people 50 years old and above, including seniors, are one of those who are critical and should be monitored for any signs of the disease. The reason behind this is because of how their bodies would react to the disease and how fast would the onset be depending on their present health status.
Can Legionnaire’s be treated and/or prevented?
Fortunately, as Legionnaire’s can’t be spread from person to person, it can also be treated with ease using the properly prescribed antibiotics. However, there is a catch to this as the treatment can only be effective if the disease is caught early on so caregivers must be vigilant in watching over their senior for any possible symptoms so that it could.
Caregivers should also consider maintaining a Legionella-free place. That would include having the water within the area and in the house tested for any bacterial presence. If ever strains are found, it is best to have experts come over and treat the water supply. Furthermore, caregivers should also keep a schedule handy when it comes to maintaining and checking as this will be a big help in the long run especially if your schedule is booked with caring for your senior.