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Legionnaires’ Disease Hospitalizes Thousands Each Year in the U.S.


The laboratories at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical provide advanced testing solutions to identify the deadly, water-borne Legionella bacteria.

Pasadena, CA

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. each year due to Legionnaires’ disease. This number may be just the tip of the iceberg as it is believed by many experts that most cases are not diagnosed or reported.

The disease caused by Legionella, Legionnaires’ disease, got its name after a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia that sickened 221 people and caused 34 deaths. There is a milder form of the illness, known as Pontiac Fever, whose symptoms typically diminish and clear up without treatment.

The transmission of Legionella occurs via aerosols, when mist containing the bacteria is inhaled. Legionella can be found in nature in environments such as lakes and streams, but most human infections occur from manmade sources involving cooling towers or hot water systems.

Those infected by Legionella may take up to two weeks before they begin to show symptoms. Early on it may manifest its presence with flu-like and fever symptoms which can escalate into problems with nausea, nervous system issues and pneumonia. The CDC reports that 5% to 30% of cases can cause death.

As one of the largest environmental laboratories in the country, and an expert resource for Legionella analysis, EMSL Analytical and its affiliate LA Testing have developed a number of ongoing initiatives to educate environmental professionals and the general public about the organism that causes the disease. A dedicated website with more information can be found at

“The collective expertise that EMSL and LA Testing have created over the years developing testing procedures for Legionella has made the company a rich source of information,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. To learn more about Legionella and other environmental services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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