Wis. death may be 1st in Legionnaires' outbreak

  • Associated Press
  • August 21, 2013 - 3:35 PM

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin officials are looking into whether a 56-year-old Greenfield man died of Legionnaires' disease.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ( ) reports the man was taken to the hospital on July 31. His flu symptoms worsened, and doctors induced a coma. On Friday, his family decided to take him off life support.

If confirmed, the death would be the first from the Legionnaires' outbreak this summer that's affected nearly 50 people in Milwaukee County.

A state spokeswoman says the agency won't confirm the disease was the cause before the death certificate is finalized.

Legionnaires' is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia that poses a threat to smokers and people with underlying health conditions. The disease takes its name from an outbreak at a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion in 1976.

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