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Legionnaires’ (LEE-juh-nares) disease is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella (LEE-juh-nell-a) bacteria. Legionella can also cause a milder illness called Pontiac fever. People can get sick when they breathe in mist or accidently swallow water into the lungs containing Legionella. Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick. However, people 50 years or older, current or former smokers, and people with a weakened immune system or chronic disease are at increased risk.

Toolkit to Develop a Legionella Water Management Program

cover of Toolkit to Develop a Legionella Water Management Program

Get practical guidance on how to implement industry standards for effective water management programs. Learn how to identify areas or devices in buildings where Legionella might grow or spread to people.

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New Water Management Program Resources

Own or manage a building that may need a water management program? Find out what you need to know about

Healthcare facilities face unique challenges. Learn more about water management programs in healthcare facilities.


Environmental Investigation Videos

clinicians taking water samples

CDC developed six instructional videos on various environmental aspects of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak investigations.

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ELITE Program

CDC's ELITE Program

CDC created the Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (ELITE) Program as a way for laboratories to test their Legionella isolation techniques against standardized samples.

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