Legionnaires’ disease - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2020
ECDC’s annual surveillance reports provide a wealth of epidemiological data to support decision-making at the national level. They are mainly intended for public health professionals and policymakers involved in disease prevention and control programmes.
- Legionnaires’ disease remains an uncommon and mainly sporadic respiratory infection with an overall notification rate of 1.9 cases per 100 000 population for the EU/EEA in 2020.
- A small decrease in the annual notification rate was observed, down from the 2.2 cases per 100 000 population reported in 2019.
- Notification rates remained heterogenous across the EU/EEA, varying from fewer than 0.5 cases per 100 000 population to 5.7 cases per 100 000 population, with the highest rate reported by Slovenia.
- Four countries (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) accounted for 72% of all notified cases.
- Males aged 65 years and older were most affected (7.1 cases per 100 000 population).
- The number of reported cases to the travel-associated surveillance scheme decreased by 67% in 2020 compared with 2019.
- Only 10% of cases were culture confirmed (10%), likely leading to underestimation of disease caused by Legionella species other than Legionella pneumophila.
See all annual epidemiological reports
Legionnaires’ disease is a multisystem disease which causes pneumonia due to gram-negative bacteria (Legionella spp.) found in freshwater environments around the world.Read more
Facts about Legionnaires' disease
Legionnaires’ disease is a multisystem disease which causes pneumonia due to gram-negative bacteria (Legionella spp.) found in freshwater environments around the world. Humans are infected by inhalation of aerosols containing Legionella.Read more
All annual Epidemiological Reports (AERs)
The Annual Epidemiological Reports (AERs) are key ECDC publication on the epidemiology of communicable diseases of public health significance in Europe. These reports give overviews of the epidemiology of communicable diseases of public health significance in Europe, drawn from surveillance information on the 52 communicable diseases and health issues for which surveillance is mandatory in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.Read more