September 22, 2018

NH hotel told to fix Legionella bacteria problem, notify guests

04 September 2018, 10:40 | Rodolfo Wallace

'Cluster' of cases of Legionnaires' disease confirmed in Surrey

Legionella outbreak in Surrey likely from local source

The two Nashua residents who fell ill have no connection to the string of Legionnaires' cases in Hampton, said Jake Leon, spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Along with the 12 incidents of Legionnaires' disease at Hampton Beach, including at least one which resulted in death, August saw two confirmed cases of this bacterial pneumonia in Nashua.

Legionnaire's disease is acquired from breathing in small drops of water that contain the bacteria.

No one answered the phone at the hotel Monday morning. Others have died from complications of the disease.

"It's just a coincidence", said Leon, adding that New Hampshire sees an average of 30 to 35 cases of Legionnaires' disease annually.

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"Early test results from the CDC indicate the presence of the Legionella bacteria in several environmental samples taken from the facility's water system".

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 6,100 cases in 2016. However, people who are elderly, smokers, people with chronic lung conditions, and who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of getting sick. It often grows and spreads in water systems like cooling towers, decorative fountains, plumbing systems and hot tubs that aren't cleaned properly.

Of those Hampton cases, the majority of people stayed or resided in the Ashworth Avenue area, although it is possible they may have received other exposures.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by a bacterium called Legionella. The Public Health Service of Canada points out it can not be transmitted between people.

The organization is urging anyone in Surrey experiencing fever, fatigue, cough, or shortness of breath to seek medical attention.

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