Two cases of Legionnaire?s disease were confirmed the other day; the irresistible hook being that the men, ages 60 and 70 were Legionnaires. They came down with flu-like symptoms shortly after attending a meeting of the American Legions in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, just miles from Philadelphia where the first cases were documented and the culprit Legionella pneumophila was first fingered almost 30 years ago. Following an American Legions convention in July of 1976, Philadelphia?s Bellevue-Stratford, became a hotspot for media and scientific speculation after a disease sickened 221 and killed 34. It wasn?t until January of the following year that the bacterium was isolated by Joseph McDade. The idiosyncratic nutritional requirements of the bug made it difficult to culture. It was later found festering in the cooling towers of the Bellevue-Stratford delivered to attendees through the A/C. In the 1970s Legionnaires created an enormous stir, and there?s generally still...
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!