DefinitionLegionellosis refers to confirmed reported cases of legionellosis in New Jersey (both Pontiac Fever and Legionnaire's Disease). Incidence: Rate of reported legionellosis infections per 100,000 people
NumeratorConfirmed reported legionellosis cases in New Jersey
DenominatorPopulation of New Jersey (annual)
Why Is This Important?Legionellosis refers to infections caused by Legionella species of bacteria. It includes both Legionnaire's Disease, a severe form of pneumonia, and Pontiac Fever, a flu-like illness that is usually self limiting. Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in warm water sources such as large plumbing systems, hot water tanks, cooling towers, hot tubs, respiratory equipment, and decorative fountains. Disease transmission is not person-to-person. Instead, a person must breath in water droplets, mist, or vapor contaminated with the bacteria to become infected. Those at greatest risk of developing legionellosis are elderly persons, current and former smokers, persons with chronic lung diseases, and immunocompromised persons. Legionellosis has been a reportable disease in New Jersey since 2003.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?While the incidence rate of legionellosis is increasing in both the United States and New Jersey, the annual rates have been higher in New Jersey for many years. CDC data show that the rate of legionellosis in the U.S. was 1.89 cases per 100,000 people in 2015. For the same year, the rate in New Jersey was 2.4 cases per 100,000 people. In 2018 the rate in New Jersey had increased to 4.1 cases per 100,000 people.
Health Program InformationThe NJ Department of Health has both general and technical information available online for Legionellosis at [https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/legion/index.shtml]. A Legionellosis fact sheet with frequently asked questions is at [https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/faq/legionellosis_faq.pdf].