MI hospital investigating possible Legionnaires' disease outbreak

Henrietta Brewer
October 12, 2019

State health officials are investigating after seven people treated at a suburban Detroit hospital were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

The Macomb County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are involved in the investigation.

Residents in "multiple states and North Carolina counties" have been affected, officials said. The analysis also showed people who got sick were much more likely to have visited in the last five days of the fair. The event center housed many vendors during the fair, including those for hot tubs.

Preliminary findings suggest that exposure to the Legionella bacteria came in the Davis Event Center near the hot tubs during the final five days of the fair in Fletcher, North Carolina, on September 6-15.

Those sickened were more likely to say they walked by the hot tub display compared to those who were not sickened, health officials said in an October 3 update.

Legionnaires' disease is an infection caused by Legionella bacteria.

"And they said he had double pneumonia", says Bregler, " I went to work the following day and that's where I heard about Legionnaire's at the fair, and I called Mike and said tell the doctors to check you for Legionella. Very little aerosolized water is created from hand washing sinks, toilets and other now operating water sources at the Agricultural Center, meaning the risk of exposure to Legionella is low. People contract the disease when inhaling Legionella bacteria; it's not spread via person-to-person contact. Symptoms often include fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath.

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