Another case of Legionnaires' Disease in Cleveland Area

Another case of Legionnaires' Disease in Cleveland Area

After a 53-year-old woman from Brunswick died due to complications from Legionnaires Disease, and 101 cases of the disease were found in New York, 10 proven to be fatal, Robin Nahrstedt said he needed to reach out.

Nahrstedt is concerned there may be more cases of Legionnaires'
Disease out there. "Other people are worried they are going to get it from me.  I'm like getting ostracized.  Don't breath on me.  Don't sit next to me," said Robin Nahrstedt, of Cleveland.

As it turns out, Legionnaires' Disease is, according to medical experts, transmitted by inhaling droplets that come from a water source like an air conditioning unit or a whirlpool spa.  Those that contract the disease usually can recover, but the end result can be deadly for the elderly, smokers and those with weakened immune systems.  Cases of the disease must be reported to the Health Department.

"The woman died in Brunswick, and they said that was the only case in Cuyahoga County, and I had this for six weeks before I ever heard about the woman or the cases in New York," added Nahrstedt.

It's still unclear how Nahrstedt contracted Legionnaires'.

He says there were only two places he spent his time during the month of June, when he contracted Legionnaires' Disease.  He says he was at the hospital and at home.  He says his home has been ruled out as the source for the contamination. 

Nahrstedt had a heart attack, and that's when he says his trouble began.  "It was only two days after I got out, when I had the heart attack, that I started running the 103 temperature, severe diarrhea, coughing, chills at night, sweating at night, but with chills," said Nahrstedt.

Dr. Robert Salata, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals, says he's not aware of an outbreak of cases.

"There aren't that many, so this is not time for panic.  We need to understand what this is so people can be educated about it, and also, if appropriate to do something to mitigate the problem," said Dr. Salata.

Nahrstedt just worries that his is not an isolated case, locally.

"It's out there," said Nahrstedt.

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