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Respiratory Illness

Legionellosis: Disease caused by bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s disease or Pontiac fever. Symptoms of both diseases include: fever, headache, appetite loss, and muscle pain. Legionnaires’ disease is often associated with pneumonia.

Every year, 8,000-18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease, but the disease often goes unreported so the number may be higher. The bacteria that causes this disease is often found in warn water, such as a hot tub. The bacteria are spread when a person breathes water mist or vapor that has the bacteria present. The bacteria are not spread from person-to-person.

Influenza: Also called “flu,” caused by a virus that can cause a person to develop a sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Influenza can lead to pneumonia, and can also worsen existing chronic health problems. Flu season generally begins in October and can last as long as late May. The elderly, small children and individuals with certain chronic conditions are more likely to have complications related to influenza.

Influenza terms:

Avian Influenza: “bird flu” known to cause mild to severe illness and death in birds, and rarely causes illness in humans. When it is found in humans, the symptoms are more severe and may cause death.

Influenza Type A: One type A influenza virus (H3N2) has been labeled the “swine flu.” The swine flu normally circulates in pigs, but was reported in 2011 to infect humans. People can be infected from pigs the same way people infect other people with the flu, through pig coughs and sneezes. H1N1 is also a subgroup of Influenza A.

Influenza Type B: There has been a recent rise in Influenza B this season. Both types A & B have been associated with seasonal epidemics every winter in the United States.

Influenza Type C: Although Type C is not thought to cause epidemics, it can cause a mild respiratory illness.

To see more information about the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC website for Influenza. (Hyperlink to:

If you are an ILI reporter and would like to fill out this week’s surveillance report you may do so here: Hays County ILI Report

Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a major cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young children. Fever, wheezing and cough are common symptoms among young children; in infants the symptoms are generally more severe. RSV is transmitted by droplets from sneeze or cough, but also through contaminated surfaces such as a tissue. Proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette are very important to stop the spread of RSV.

If you have a suspected or confirmed respiratory illness, please report it to the Hays County Local Health Department Office of Epidemiology

Hays County