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Two Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease Linked to Illinois Gym

Samples collected from the facility’s hot tub detected the bacterium that causes the disease.

May 30, 2023

As reported by Infection Control Today, two cases of Legionnaires’ Disease have been linked to an L.A. Fitness facility in Niles, Illinois.

On May 5, the same day that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) began its investigation of the facility, L.A. Fitness closed its pool, spa, showers, and steam room. On May 16, testing confirmed that samples collected from the facility’s hot tub detected legionella pneumophila S2-14, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ Disease.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), both Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever are caused by legionella bacteria and are referred to collectively as Legionellosis. Legionnaires’ Disease is a serious, potentially deadly, lung infection (pneumonia); Pontiac Fever is a less serious infection with milder symptoms similar to influenza.

Legionella can grow in places such as poorly maintained domestic and industrial water systems; cooling towers; or HVAC systems. Workers can develop Legionellosis if they are exposed to the bacteria from these types of sources, especially in water droplets or respirable fine mists small enough to inhale.

According to IDPH, the gym will remain closed until disinfecting is complete and legionella is no longer detected—a process which could take weeks.

To learn more about keeping your water sources safe, check out How to Prevent Legionella Outbreaks in Your Facilities.

 

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