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Health

Maine CDC Investigating 4 Cases Of Legionnaires' Disease In Bangor Area

Legionnaires Disease
Francis Chandler/AP
/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This 1978 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Legionella pneumophila bacteria which are responsible for causing the pneumonic disease Legionnaires' disease.

Four people in the Bangor area have been hospitalized for a type of pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease.

The Maine CDC says it's investigating whether the cases are connected. The agency has also alerted health care providers to consider testing for the disease to identify more cases.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which is found naturally in freshwater, such as lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows in human-made water systems such as air conditioning, hot tubs, and fountains. Cases have been on the rise in the U.S. and Maine averages about 20 cases a year.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, fever and aches.