Maine CDC Health Advisory
July 12, 2019
Increase in Legionellosis Cases - Greater Bangor Area, Penobscot County
In the greater Bangor area, Penobscot County, Maine, physicians have reported 6 confirmed cases of legionellosis from November 2018 to the present. This is an increase from the 5-year median of 3.2 cases for Penobscot County. Cases range in age from over 50 to under 85 years old. Maine CDC is actively investigating the cases and has not identified a common exposure among cases.
Health care providers should be aware of this increase in legionellosis cases and consider legionellosis in the differential diagnosis of any pneumonia case. Although urinary antigen assay is an adequate diagnostic test for Legionella, given the recent increase in number of cases, Maine CDC recommends respiratory specimen culture, particularly for patients who live in the greater Bangor area. Culture specimens can detect all species and serogroups of Legionella and may aide in exposure identification. Maine CDC requests Legionella isolates grown from respiratory specimens be sent to the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) for further analysis.