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Medical News & Perspectives
May 1, 2018

Why Are Legionnaires Disease Diagnoses Becoming More Common in the United States?

JAMA. 2018;319(17):1753-1754. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.2196

More than 4 decades after scientists identified the deadly bacterium that sickened scores of American Legion members attending their state convention in Philadelphia in 1976, thousands of Americans continue to be diagnosed with Legionnaires disease each year.

In fact, the annual number of reported cases has increased nearly 4.5-fold since 2000, when a total of 1110 were reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2016, a total of 6141 cases were reported, about the same as in 2015 but higher than the approximately 5000 reported cases in 2014.