Legionnaires disease is a serious lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria.

Initial symptomsusuallyinclude flu-like symptoms , such as:

  • mild headaches
  • muscle pain
  • high temperature (fever), usually 38C (100.4F) or above
  • chills
  • tiredness
  • changes to your mental state, such as confusion

Once bacteria begin to infect your lungs, you may also experience symptoms of pneumonia , such as:

  • a persistent Cough which is usually dry at first, but as the infection develops you may start coughing up phlegm or, rarely, blood
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pains

See your GP as soon as possible if you develop the symptoms above. If you have a high temperature, you may have an infection of some kind.Seek urgent medical attention ifyou have more severe symptoms, such as chest pain and breathing difficulties .

It usually takes six to seven days between getting the infection and the start of symptoms (known as the incubation period),although it canbe any time from two to 19 days.

AsLegionnaires' disease has similar symptoms to other illnesses,your recent travel history will be relevant in making a diagnosis. If an infection is suspected, a urine test canbe used to check for Legionnaires' disease.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016