Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. It is caused by the Legionella bacteria, and unlike viral types of pneumonia, the disease can be treated with antibiotics. It’s considered an atypical pneumonia because the Legionella bacteria is a strange type of bacteria. It is rod shaped, which makes it a type of bacillus, and it has a flagellum, or a whip-like tail that allows it to move around. It is Gram negative, which means it doesn’t hold on to the Gram stain that turns other types of bacteria a purplish-blue.
Information. The disease can strike year round but most cases happen in the summer or early fall. It is generally not contagious, but people get it when they inhale the bacteria that is found in tiny droplets of water. This was how the victims of the first outbreak were infected. They breathed in the contaminated water droplets from the hotel air conditioner cooling tower.