Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

Beach hotel pushes back on CDC in Legionnaires' testing

Beach hotel pushes back on CDC in Legionnaires' testing

The state sees on average between 30-35 cases of the disease annually, but hasn't seen a cluster of cases in approximately 15 years.

Fraser Health says most people in good health do not get the disease when exposed to the bacteria, but the elderly, smokers and people with chronic lung conditions or compromised immune systems are at higher risk.

As a precautionary measure, DPHS has closed the hot tub spas at the Sands Hotel and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel because hot tub spas, in general, are a known source of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's.

Preliminary results from lab testing are expected to be available in the next one to two weeks.

The state plans to give another update Tuesday, after Labor Day. It can not be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria (such as while swimming).

Pneumonia-like symptoms show up 2 to 10 days after exposure, but state officials recommend that people stay vigilant for 14 days.

Statistically, according to the NH Division of Public Health Services, one in ten people who become infected die from the disease. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.

Currently, state officials, along with those from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are working to identify a potential source of the bacteria in New Hampshire. The agency noted the illness is underreported and there may have been more cases.

The disease can cause symptoms similar to pneumonia.

"Both patients have risks for Legionnaires' disease and have been discharged from the hospital". However, individuals who are at a higher risk of the disease should continue to take steps to protect their health, which includes postponing a visit to the area if they are concerned about their health.

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