Two residents at SilverCreek on Main, an assisted living center in Maple Grove, MN, have been confirmed with Legionnaires’ disease, causing an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDOH), multiple news-gathering organizations are reporting.
Symptoms first appeared on Aug. 22, while the second person infected started showing on Sept. 12. Both people were hospitalized and are currently recovering.
SilverCreek, which has 220 residents, is working in cooperation with the MDOH to identify the source of the Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. No definitive source has been determined, but all indications point to the building’s water system.
“We are in the process of a full environmental assessment,” a statement released by SilverCreek officials said. “Early indications are that the issue is isolated to a small area of the property.”
The HVAC system has been cleaned and the water system is being remediated, according to a spokesperson for the MDOH.
Residents are advised to avoid showering. They also have been told to seek alternative sources of drinking water. SilverCreek officials are providing bottled water for drinking and oral care. They also have closed the pool.
The 200-unit SilverCreek on Main facility opened in 2015 and includes an independent living wing, two floors of memory care, and two floors of assisted care. The facility’s address is 8200 Main Street North in Maple Grove.
Outbreak comes a year after 23 took ill in Hopkins, MN
The outbreak is the second in suburban Minneapolis in a year. In September 2016, 23 people were sickened and one person died during an outbreak in Hopkins. It took the MDOH several weeks to identify the outbreak’s source. It eventually was traced to a cooling tower at Citrus Systems juice manufacturing plant in the city’s downtown area. Testing found a precise genetic match between the Legionella bacteria samples from the tower and four of the infected people.
Should SilverCreek residents be concerned?
After Legionella grow and multiply in the water system, the contaminated water spreads in droplets and mist, which then are aspirated into the lungs. When the bacteria reaches the lungs, they can cause people to become ill with Legionnaires’ disease.
Legionella become a concern when they grow and spread in human-made environments, such as:
- Showers and faucets
- Hot tubs that aren’t drained regularly
- Decorative fountains and water features
- Hot water tanks and heaters
- Large plumbing systems
- Cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings)
Residents or visitors to the SilverCreek on Main facility who are exhibiting pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms should seek immediate medical attention from their primary health-care provider.
Many individuals are at increased risk
Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not become infected. People who meet any of the following criteria, however, are at an increased risk of infection:
- People 50 or older
- Current or former smokers
- People with undisclosed illnesses, such as kidney failure, liver failure, or diabetes
- People with suppressed immune systems
- People with chronic lung disease
- People with cancer
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are numerous
Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia (lung infection). Symptoms commonly exhibit in the following forms:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation for those victims. If you have become sick because of this outbreak, please call him for a free consultation (612-337-6126), or complete the following form: