One of my clients recently called to update me on his condition, and explained that he was suffering from memory loss and confusion. He did not bring it up at first because he did not believe that memory loss could be connected to Legionnaires Disease. I directed him to contact a neurologist to do a full evaluation.
A review of a study from Oxford University clearly shows atypical medical problems associated with Legionnaires Disease. Many of these conditions are likely never considered by a treating physician to be causally connected to an injury in the lungs by legionella bacteria.
The 2002 study showed that, “The most prevalent new symptoms were fatigue (in 75% of patients), neurologic symptoms (in 66%), and neuromuscular symptoms (in 63%).” After a victim is released from the hospital the most important thing they are trying to do is rest and recover. Many have come close to dying, and family members are quick to care for their loved one. The victim should also be checked for these neurologic symptoms.
Of the 75% that suffered from Neurologic symptoms in the Oxford study, very few had recovered from the neurologic symptoms after 17 months of their initial sickness. This indicates that these conditions are likely permanent in nature. That alarming statistic of permanency was also shown in persons with fatigue and neuromuscular symptoms. The statistics also showed that a significant percentage of the victims suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The ultimate focus of the study was how Legionnaires Disease actually affected a person’s quality of life. The ultimate conclusion showed that all of the indicators were averse to the victim’s positive quality of life. The report stated, “In summary, 17 months after the outbreak of LD, the majority of patients experienced persistent symptoms and impaired HRQL, and 15% experienced PTSD.”