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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Pontiac fever

Pontiac fever

Pontiac fever is a mild flu-like illness caused be legionella bacteria, often affecting previously healthy and young individuals.  Symptoms can include fever, headaches and muscle aches but, unlike Legionnaires' disease, Pontiac fever does not cause pneumonia.  The illness will usually clear up without treatment within two to three days.

Outbreaks of the disease in the UK are uncommon but have been connected to the inhalation of legionella bacteria found in spa pools.  Outbreaks of Pontiac fever have been reported to be caused by L. pneumophila. L. feeleii, L. micdadei and L. anisa.  Pontiac fever may separately, or together with Legionnaires' disease, be referred to as 'Legionellosis'.  In contrast to Legionnaires' disease, a high proportion of those exposed to the source of infection may become ill.