About Pontiac Fever
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Pontiac Fever Fact Sheet (PDF)
What is Pontiac fever?
- Pontiac fever is a milder flu-like illness caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria (see also Legionnaires’ disease). It often does not require treatment.
- Symptoms include:
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- and occasionally diarrhea
- Symptoms generally occur within 24-48 hours of exposure to Legionella bacteria.
Who is at risk?
Persons of any age are at risk for Pontiac fever.
How is it spread?
- Pontiac fever is spread by inhalation of fine spray (aerosol) particles from water sources containing the Legionella bacteria.
- Persons can be exposed in their homes, at work, in hospitals, or other public places.
- Pontiac fever is not spread from person to person.
How is it treated?
- Pontiac fever is usually not treated with antibiotics.
- Most people recover within 2-5 days.