Fraser Heath investigating outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Surrey, B.C.

Henrietta Brewer
September 4, 2018

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health Services is continuing to investigate an outbreak in the area associated with Ashworth Avenue between Island Path and M Street in Hampton of the potentially serious bacterial pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria.

State officials say one person has died from Legionnaires' Disease as an outbreak in Hampton continues to grow.

The NH DHHS says tests carried about by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC "detected the presence of the Legionella bacteria from multiple sources within the Sands Resort water system, including but not limited hot tub spa".

Legionnaire's disease is acquired from breathing in small drops of water that contain the bacteria. Common sources for this disease include aerosol droplet inhalation from showers, hot tubs, cooling towers, faucets, as well as decorative fountains.

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

At least a dozen people were sickened from the disease; one elderly person died.

Two years ago, health departments reported about 6,100 cases of Legionnaires' disease in the United States, the CDC said.

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

Martin said upon interviewing the Nashua patients, health officials determined the cases were not connected to the Hampton outbreak. They can develop pneumonia and symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, severe fatigue, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Most people get better with early treatment, although they may need to be hospitalized.

The history surrounding Legionnaires' is well known, which might explain why many fear even the mention of the disease.

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