A disease due to the bacteria Legionella pneumophila found in plumbing, shower heads and water-storage tanks. Outbreaks of Legionella pneumonia have been attributed to evaporative condensers and cooling towers. The bacteria thrives in the mist sprayed from air-conditioning ducts and so it can infest an entire building or airplane. Travelers are especially vulnerable in the closed space within a plane.
Home hot water pipes have also been found to be a common source of the disease. The bacteria flourish at temperatures between 90 and 105 degrees and so can grow in the slimy gunk lining residential hot water pipes. People contract the bacteria by inhaling drops of water while showering, washing or even drinking.
Legionnaire disease can cause a massive pneumonia associated with collapse of the respiratory function. It can be an overwhelming and sometimes fatal illness.
The disease was first identified as a sequel of the 1976 convention of the American Legion in some of the Legionnaires who had attended the convention. It was therefore named Legionnaire disease.
- Leigh's disease
A rare, inherited disorder characterized by degeneration of the central nervous system. Leigh’s disease can be caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA or by deficiencies of an enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 3 months and 2 years and progress rapidly. Early symptoms may include poor sucking ability and loss […]
A benign tumor of smooth muscle, the type of muscle that is found in the heart and uterus. A leiomyoma of the uterus is commonly called a fibroid. Uterine fibroids are the single most common indication for hysterectomy. Fibroids can be present and be inapparent. However, they are clinically apparent in up to 25% of […]
A malignant tumor that originates in smooth muscle, the major structural component of most hollow internal organs and the walls of blood vessels. Leiomyosarcoma can occur almost anywhere in the body but is most frequently found in the uterus and gastrointestinal tract. Complete surgical excision, if possible, is the treatment of choice.
- Leishmania infection
Mexico, Central America, and South America — from northern Argentina to southern Texas (not in Uruguay, Chile, or Canada) Southern Europe (leishmaniasis is not common in travelers to southern Europe) Asia (not Southeast Asia) The Middle East Africa (particularly East and North Africa, with some cases elsewhere) More than 90% of the world’s visceral leishmaniasis […]
A parasitic disease that is spread by the bite of sand flies infected with the protozoa Leishmania. There are several forms of leishmaniasis, the most common being cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (known as kala-azar). The cutaneous form of the disease causes skin sores and is usually named for a geographic place (for example, Jericho boil, […]