When 182 people attending an American Legion convention were diagnosed with a serious lung and bronchial tube infection –a newly identified disease was born. Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious form of pneumonia. If you’re interested in treating your symptoms or supplementing your doctor’s orders, consider a few home remedies for Legionnaire’s Disease.
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What is Legionnaire’s Disease?
Legionnaire’s Disease is a severe form of pneumonia associated with coming in contact with a specific type of bacteria. The disease was first identified in 1976 after an outbreak took place at an American Legion. The bacterium associated with Legionnaire’s Disease is not transmitted from person to person, but is instead inhaled in airborne vapor droplets of water.
The Legionella bacterium is also responsible for causing Pontiac fever – a milder illness similar to the flu. While Pontiac fever usually clears on its own, untreated Legionnaires’ disease can turn deadly. Even after treatment, some patients continue to struggle with the aftermath of the disease. The elderly, smokers, and people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.
Causes and Symptoms
Legionnaire’s Disease is caused by bacterium known as legionella. A patient contracts the disease when they inhale mist from water sources that have been contaminated with the bacteria. After being exposed to the bacteria, an individual may experience symptoms within two to 14 days. Water sources, such as the mists that form in showers, cooling towers and whirlpool baths, are prime candidates for Legionella bacteria contamination.
Signs and symptoms of the disease include headaches, muscle pain, chills, and a fever that reaches 104 degrees or higher. After the second or third day, a patient may notice loss of appetite, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, coughing that produces mucus (and at times, blood), nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Legionnaire’s Disease Home Remedies
It’s best to use home remedies for Legionnaire’s Disease to supplement professional medical treatment, as a lack of care can be fatal. Below are a few suggestions to help address common symptoms of the disease:
a) Herbal Tea:
Drinking herbal teas are a popular way to treat some of the main symptoms of Legionnaire’s Disease. Sip on catnip tea as a way to reduce a fever. Provide a boost to your immune system by drinking echinacea tea. Calm your nerves and encourage a restful sleep with a cup of chamomile tea.
b) Olive Leaves:
The extract found in olive leaves has been known to fight bacterial and viral infections, including pneumonia and sore throats.
c) Heating Pad:
Relieve pains in the chest by applying a heating pad. A hot water bottle may also act as a substitute for a heating pad.
Apply an ice pack or cool compress to the forehead and neck to soothe a headache associated with Legionnaire’s Disease.
Soothe muscle pain by taking a hot shower or placing heat on the neck and other parts of the body.
f) Avoid Gum-Chewing:
Forego chewing on your favorite gum, which can tighten muscles and cause a tension headache to develop.
g) Ice and Heat:
Alternate cold and hot treatments to soothe soreness and muscle pain. Start with ice and then switch to heat for relaxation. A heating pad will dilate blood vessels and encourage healing.
h) Vinegar and Honey:
Add two teaspoons apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey to a small glass of warm water to ease pains associated with Legionnaire’s Disease.
i) Citrus and Ginger:
Jumpstart your appetite by mixing lime juice, ginger, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Some people have also sprinkled black salt and dried ginger on orange slices to restore their appetite. It is the sourness of these ingredients that encourages you to eat.
j) Ginger and Garlic Tea:
Loosen the mucus membrane and clear a congested chest by drinking tea made with ginger and garlic. Add a piece of ginger (cut into small slices), one to two garlic seeds, and a small amount of lemon juice to boiling water. Boil the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the contents and set aside. Heat up a cup (with added honey) and sip throughout the day to make breathing easier and to loosen up a cough.
Treat a severe cough by making a tea with aniseed. The liquid loosens mucous and lessens the intensity of chest coughs. The tea can also make breathing easier, as well as clear a congested chest.