What are the symptoms of Legionnaires disease?

Updated: Mar 11, 2021
  • Author: Chinelo N Animalu, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Symptoms of LD can occur as follows:

  • Patients often experience a prodrome of 1-2 days of mild headache and myalgias, followed by high fever, and chills

  • Cough is present in 90% of cases; cough usually is nonproductive at first but may become productive as the disease progresses

  • Other pulmonary manifestations include dyspnea, pleuritic chest pain, and hemoptysis, which may be present in as many as one third of cases

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (watery, not bloody), abdominal pain, and anorexia

  • Neurologic symptoms include headache, lethargy, encephalopathy, altered mental status (the most common neurologic symptom), and rarely, focal symptoms

  • Musculoskeletal symptoms include myalgias

  • Nonpulmonary symptoms are prominent early in the disease

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