Sick with Legionnaires’?
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Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ in this Hampton Beach outbreak, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation, or complete the following:
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced the addition of one more case of Legionnaires’ disease in the Hampton Beach outbreak, increasing the total to 15.
In addition, WMUR News 9 reported that hot tubs at The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel – which were shut down as a precaution – were not registered with the state. Registration is required to ensure that public pools and spas are in line with health and safety standards.
Hampton Beach is a popular tourist destination in the city of Hampton. It is the busiest beach community in the state.
Hampton Beach outbreak: Legionella found
State health officials announced over the weekend that preliminary environmental testing uncovered increased levels of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in The Sands’ hot tub, water heater, and outdoor shower hose, as well as the sinks and shower heads in three guest rooms. Nine of the 15 victims in the outbreak were guests at The Sands.
The Sands was ordered to begin immediate remediation and notification efforts. The resort’s owners subsequently retained an environmental consultant, who is on the job cleaning the property’s water system to eliminate Legionella.
The DHHS’s latest press release stated it will “provide additional updates on remediation efforts at The Sands Resort, the number of confirmed cases, and additional lab test results as more information becomes available.”
Hampton Beach outbreak: area testing
Results from testing at other locations in the target area are expected in the next few days, DHHS communications director Jake Leon said. That target area is a half-mile-plus stretch of Ashworth Avenue, between Island Path and M Street.
Of the 15 cases, 13 patients have been hospitalized, and one senior citizen passed away.
Hampton Beach outbreak: Legionnaires’ FAQs
What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia. It is similar to other types of pneumonia, an infection of the air sacs in one or both lungs that can produce fluid in the lungs.
What are the symptoms?
Legionnaires’ disease symptoms can also resemble those of influenza (flu). The disease’s initial symptoms often include:
- muscle aches
- chills and fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
By the second or third day, other symptoms develop, including:
- coughing, which can bring up mucus and sometimes blood
- shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- chest pains
- gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- confusion and other mental changes.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone can contract Legionnaires’ disease, but people who are most susceptible to infection include:
- anyone 50 or older
- smokers, either current or former
- heavy drinkers of alcohol
- anyone with chronic lung disease (COPD)
- anyone with a weakened immune system
- organ-transplant recipients
- anyone on a specific drug protocol (corticosteroids, for instance).
How is Legionella contracted?
The bacteria grow best in warm water, and they are found primarily in human-made environments. Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources, including:
- swimming pools, hot tubs, and whirlpools
- water systems, like those in hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes
- air conditioning system cooling towers
- large plumbing systems
- bathroom showers and faucets
- hot water heaters and tanks
- physical-therapy equipment
- mist machines, like those in the produce sections of grocery stores
- hand-held sprayers
- decorative fountains.
How prevalent is Legionnaires’?
An estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.
Additionally, 10 percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.
How serious is the disease?
The severity of Legionnaires’ disease is highlighted in a recent Epidemiology & Infection study done at the University of Minnesota. Based on data from the CDC and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), “approximately 9 percent of legionellosis cases, caused by waterborne Legionella bacteria, are fatal, and 40 percent require intensive care.”