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Elliot Olsen is a nationally known Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member were sickened at Christmas Mountain Village, you might have cause to file a Legionnaires lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Wisconsin Dells resort Christmas Mountain Village has sparked an investigation by the local health department.

One of three victims sickened from November 2017 to November 2018 died from their infection.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of bacterial pneumonia that is contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets (mist or vapor) contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Christmas Mountain Village:
Legionella found

Tara Hayes, the director of the Sauk County Health Department (SCHD), confirmed that Legionella were found at Christmas Mountain Village, and the only commonality between the three victims was that they all visited the golf and ski resort.

“We had received a report that some individuals contracted Legionnaires’ disease, so that prompted us to do an investigation with Christmas Mountain,” Hayes said. “During that investigation with the sampling of the water, there have been some units that have tested positive for the Legionella bacteria.”

The first case was reported to the SCHD in November 2017, and Christmas Mountain Village tested positive for Legionella at that time, Hayes said. The other two cases were recorded within two weeks of each other last October.

No additional information regarding the three victims was released.

Wisconsin Dells resort Christmas Mountain Village Legionnaires outbreak investigated

A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Wisconsin Dells resort Christmas Mountain Village has sparked an investigation. One of three victims died.

Christmas Mountain Village:
Problem for resorts

Christmas Mountain Village wasn’t the only Wisconsin resort to experience problems with Legionella last year: Four people were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease at The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake between March and August. Two locations at The Osthoff were tested in September and came up positive for elevated levels of Legionella.

According to Anna Kocharian, an epidemiologist with the Bureau of Communicable Disease of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the state averages about 135 cases of Legionnaires’ disease every five years, and the DHS conducts about five Legionella investigations yearly.

Christmas Mountain Village:
Why an outbreak?

The terms “outbreak” and “cluster” are used when multiple cases are reported in or around the same proximity and within a designated period. The term “community-acquired” is used when there are no commonalities; these kinds of cases are the most common.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would classify these illnesses as an “outbreak” because two or more cases of Legionnaires’ disease was reported within weeks of each other and occurred in a more limited geographic area – meaning officials were able to identify Christmas Mountain Village as the likely source.

“It was our understanding (via the health department) that there have been multiple cases reported across the region, in which only three cases reported to the health department are from guests that have stayed at the property within the last 24 months,” according to a statement released by a Christmas Mountain Village spokesperson. “There is no conclusive evidence that they contracted the Legionella bacteria during their stay at the property.”

Remediation efforts are underway at the facility and include installing “point of use” filters on all fixtures. Those filters are believed to be 99 percent effective in eliminating exposure to harmful bacteria.

Christmas Mountain Village:
Legionella hot spots

According to the CDC, an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (scientific name: Legionella pneumophila) occur yearly in the U.S. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific symptoms (see below):

The bacteria thrive in warm water, and they are found primarily in human-made environments, such as:

  • water systems of large buildings (hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.)
  • air-conditioning system cooling towers
  • large plumbing systems
  • hot-water heaters and tanks
  • bathroom showers and faucets
  • swimming pools, whirlpools, hot tubs
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • mist machines, like those used in the produce sections of grocery stores
  • hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

Christmas Mountain Village:
Disease symptoms

Legionnaires’ disease develops anywhere from two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella. Symptoms frequently begin with the following:

  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • fever
  • chills.

By Day 2 or Day 3, other symptoms develop, including:

  • coughing, which can produce mucus and blood
  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • chest pains (pleuritic chest pain, or pleurisy)
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • confusion and other mental changes.

Christmas Mountain Village:
High-risk demographics

Anyone can contract Legionnaires’ disease, but those at the greatest risk of infection include:

  • people 50 years old or older
  • smokers, either current or former
  • people with chronic lung disease, or COPD (most commonly emphysema or bronchitis)
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • alcoholics.

Free consultation

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: