NH officials: 2 more Legionnaires’ cases reported


Legionnaire disease has been causing quite havoc in New Hampshire's Hampton, and a fifth case of the outbreak was reported on Monday. "The Health Department will evaluate the building's plumbing to look for evidence of Legionella bacteria in the building's water system", officials said.

The owner of Sands Resort could not be reached for comment yesterday, but in a statement delivered to reporters outside the hotel, ownership questioned tests done by the CDC. Those 12 people with confirmed cases in Hampton likely acquired their infections from early June to mid-August. One person sickened in Nashua contracted the disease out of state and the other didn't have a ties to Hampton.

As a precaution, the DPHS has closed the hot tub spas at the Sands Hotel and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel, though they pointed out the hot tubs no longer present a potential risk to the public and both hotels remain open.

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Legionnaires' is a type of bacterial pneumonia that is contracted by breathing in small droplets of water in the air which contain the Legionella bacteria. The majority of cases stayed or resided in the Ashworth Avenue area, between Island Path and M Street, but may have had other exposures in the area. The symptoms are similar to general pneumonia, which includes cough, fever, headaches, muscle ache, and shortness of breath. It can not be passed from person to person contact.

Statistically, according to the NH Division of Public Health Services, one in ten people who become infected die from the disease. The symptoms show 2 to 10 days after the bacteria exposure. Groups at highest risk for Legionnaires' disease include people who are middle-aged or older, especially cigarette smokers, people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems and people who take medicines that weaken their immune systems (immunosuppressive drugs).