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UPDATE: Wis. death may be 1st in Legionnaires' outbreak

UPDATED Wednesday, August 21, 2013 --- 3:33 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin officials are looking into whether a 56-year-old Greenfield man died of Legionnaires' disease.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the man was taken to the hospital on July 31. His flu symptoms worsened, and doctors induced a coma. On Friday, his family decided to take him off life support.

If confirmed, the death would be the first from the Legionnaires' outbreak this summer that's affected nearly 50 people in Milwaukee County.

A state spokeswoman says the agency won't confirm the disease was the cause before the death certificate is finalized.

Legionnaires' is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia that poses a threat to smokers and people with underlying health conditions. The disease takes its name from an outbreak at a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 24, 2013 --- 4:15 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The number of cases of Legionnaires' disease continues to grow in Milwaukee.

Since June 1, 19 Milwaukee residents have been diagnosed with the illness. That's part of 27 total cases in Milwaukee County.

The Milwaukee Health Department says no single source of contamination or exposure has been identified. Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker says all samples have come back negative.

The disease takes its name from an outbreak at a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976. Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by a bacterium known as legionella. The disease does not spread person to person. People get sick by inhaling the bacterium.

Health officials say possible sources can include large cooling towers, hot water tanks, decorative fountains and hot tubs.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 7:30 p.m.
Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 4:05 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Health officials are investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that has sickened 20 people in Milwaukee County.

Fourteen of the cases involve adults in Milwaukee with underlying health conditions.

No deaths have been reported. But a Milwaukee Health Department official tells the Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/13jziEP) about a fourth of those infected are hospitalized.

The disease takes its name from an outbreak at a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976. Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by a bacterium known as legionella. The disease does not spread person to person. People get sick by inhaling the bacterium.

The first case of Legionnaires' in Milwaukee was reported June 1, but a cluster of cases did not become apparent until after the Fourth of July weekend.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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