Source Identified as Hampton Hotel in Legionnaires' Outbreak

Source Identified as Hampton Hotel in Legionnaires' Outbreak

Source Identified as Hampton Hotel in Legionnaires' Outbreak

New Hampshire averages about 32 cases of Legionnaires' disease each year.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said Sunday that initial tests show the outbreak stemmed from "multiple sources" within the Sands Resort water system, including the hot tub area.

Legionnaires' disease was first identified in 1976 when a number of people who attended an American Legion convention in Philadelphia suddenly developed pneumonia.

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The 14 victims are believed to have acquired their infections between early June and mid-August.

Sands Resort at center of Legionnaires' disease outbreak.

According to the New Hampshire HHS, one person has died and 14 have become sick in the outbreak.

Tests are still pending for samples taken at other locations in the area. People who take drugs that weaken their immune system, such as chemotherapy, or suffer from underlying illnesses like diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure, are also at a greater risk.

Legionnaires' disease can not be spread from person to person.

"Hot tubs are a known source for this bacteria because they contain warm water which allows the bacteria to grow and amplify because there are jets which can disperse the water and aerosolize it", said Chan.

Most healthy people don't get sick from the bacteria, but smokers, the elderly and those with pre-existing lung conditions or compromised immune systems are at higher risk.

Legionnaires' disease symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include a cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Symptoms usually appear two to 10 days after significant exposure to Legionella bacteria.

However, people should watch for symptoms for about two weeks after exposure.

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