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Questions and Answers

Q: Is legionellosis (Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever) reportable?

A: Yes, legionellosis is a nationally notifiable disease, so any case that is lab-confirmed should be reported to CDC by state health departments. However, not every case is immediately reported to CDC. The best source of information specific to individual cases or situations is the local or state health department where the patient lives. However, there is usually very limited information released about case identities in order to protect their privacy.

Q: Can CDC confirm if there are legionellosis cases in my state?

A: The best course of action is to contact your local or state health department for the most up-to-date information. Unless CDC has been contacted by the health department, we are unlikely to be immediately aware of local cases. However, we can answer questions about legionellosis in general.

Q: When does CDC get involved in responding to outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever?

A: State and local health departments have jurisdiction over outbreaks in their state. States may invite CDC to assist with an investigation when additional expertise, capacity, or resources are needed. For information about a current outbreak, contact the state or local health department where the outbreak has occurred. For cruise ship outbreaks involving U.S. citizens and ports of call in the United States, CDC has jurisdiction over the response.

Q: How many cases of Legionnaires’ disease occur each year?

A: CDC estimates that between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease in the United States each year. However, only about 3,000 cases are reported to CDC each year.

For additional information about legionellosis, see our About the Disease.

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