Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Health Care | By Edgar Pierce

NH officials: 2 more Legionnaires’ cases reported

NH officials: 2 more Legionnaires’ cases reported

New Hampshire averages about 32 cases of Legionnaires' disease each year.

Local health officials are expecting to confirm more cases in the coming days, reported the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health Services (DPHS).

A hotel in a popular New Hampshire beach town was ordered to take "immediate steps" to address its water system after it tested positive for bacteria that may have caused a Legionnaires' outbreak that sickened 14 people and caused one death.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by inhaling contaminated water vapor, but it is not contagious between people.

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The Department of Health found six of the 13 water tanks at the Saint Nicholas Houses tested positive for elevated levels of Legionella bacteria.

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Samples collected have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control laboratory in Atlanta.

"What we're trying to identify right now is what that potential source may have been, where they may have contracted the bacteria", Dr. Aamir Bharmal, a health officer with Fraser Health, told CTV Vancouver. One of those 14 Hampton victims, an elderly man, died due to complications related to the disease, state officials said.

The hot tubs are located at the Sands Resort and Harris Sea Ranch, which remain open for business.

Of those Hampton cases, the majority of people stayed or resided in the Ashworth Avenue area, although it is possible they may have received other exposures. It can not be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria (such as while swimming). A spokesperson said there have been fewer than 10 cases reported.

Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea.

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