Abstract

Due to similarities in initial disease presentation, clinicians may be inclined to repeatedly test community-acquired pneumonia cases for COVID-19 before recognizing the need to test for Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ disease is an illness characterized by pneumonia that has a summer/early fall seasonality due to favorable conditions for Legionella growth and exposure. Legionella proliferate in warm water environments and stagnant sections of indoor plumbing and cooling systems. During the ongoing pandemic crisis, exposures to aerosolized water from recently reopened office or retail buildings should be considered as an epidemiologic risk factor for Legionella exposure and an indication to test. The majority of Legionnaires’ disease cases occurring each year are not diagnosed, and some experts recommend that all patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia without a known etiology be tested for Legionella infection. Proper diagnosis can increase the likelihood of appropriate and timely antibiotic treatment, identify potential clusters of disease, and facilitate source attribution.

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