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Legionnaires' Cases Hugely Unreported in U.S.

Major outbreak kills 2, sickens hundreds in Spain

Up to 90 percent of Legionnaires' disease cases in the United States are not reported, says this news service story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The potentially deadly respiratory disease, which is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophilia, kills 5 percent to 30 percent of its victims, the story says. The disease was first identified 25 years ago after 34 people died and 221 others were sickened at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.

The latest major outbreak, in Murcia, Spain, is the largest ever, with two dead, another 337 cases confirmed and 468 people suffering pneumonia-like symptoms. HCInfo lists recent outbreaks and casualties of the disease around the world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 8,000 to 18,000 Americans get the disease each year.

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