The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News

Food & Health

November 8, 2013

Signs point to Legionella

DEAR DR. ROACH: I became extremely sick and was taken to the hospital. My physician thought I had regular pneumonia. I was so dehydrated that they couldn’t find a vein. I was intubated and had trouble getting enough oxygen. I had dialysis. My family was told I probably would not live. They discovered that my illness was Legionella, and with treatment, I woke up from paralysis.

My recovery has been easy and fast, although I was told it would take a year at the least. I am finished with physical therapy. My blood work and scan show everything is back to normal. But I have scarring in my lungs.

I am a 47-year-old woman. What should I expect for my future? Are my kidneys at risk? Do I have a greater risk of contracting pneumonia in the future? What about my lungs? Is there permanent damage? What about allergy medicines and ibuprofen? I am afraid to have a glass of wine! — C.K.

ANSWER: Legionella is a bacteria that can cause pneumonia. It is classically found in fresh water, such as air-conditioning cooling towers and condensers. It was thought to be the cause of the original outbreak among American Legionnaires back in 1976 in Philadelphia, hence the popular name of Legionnaires’ disease. Once considered rare, increased awareness and better diagnostic tests have led to a greater understanding of this important cause of pneumonia.

It may look just like any other kind of pneumonia, but diarrhea and very high fever are clues that it might be Legionella. Liver problems are more common in Legionella infections, but the dialysis you received likely was due to kidney failure from severe shock and sepsis. Intubation -- having a breathing tube inserted into your windpipe -- and paralysis are reserved for only the very most severe pneumonias, and it is really great news that you are recovering so quickly and completely.

Text Only
Food & Health
  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'

    Illinois doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice organizations are ramping up for their role as gatekeepers in the state's new medical marijuana program.

    July 23, 2014

  • Amanda Stecker Herbs make a better way to flavor meals Summer is a season full of fresh herbs. This is the best time of year to take advantage of the fresh herbs in the grocery store. Herbs add a boost of flavor without added sodium and are rich in antioxidants. Herbs are easy to incorporate into everyda

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Genome Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick.Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Bice Nurses earn Daisy awards

    CLINTON — Two Clinton nurses recently earned Daisy awards.Mercy Medical Center nurses Jodie Atkinson and Kristen Bice earned the awards that is rewarded to extraordinary nurses. Atkinson began her career in nursing at Mercy Medical Center in 1995 on

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hopkins to pay $190M after doc taped pelvic exams

    Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women whose bodies may have been videotaped or photographed by a gynecologist using a pen-like camera during pelvic exams.

    July 21, 2014

  • Before doctors check your vitals, check out theirs WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don’t know how to determine that.Being licensed and likable doesn’t necessari

    July 21, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.