One person has died and another is in the hospital after being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following a hotel stay at the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services issued an alert confirming that two out-of-state residents became sick after staying at the resort.
The health officials are currently investigating to determine the potential sources of exposure as both individuals stayed at the resort. The resort has stated that the state confirmed they cannot be certain where the individuals contracted their infection and are working closely with health services to identify any potential sources.
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of bacterial pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. The bacteria can spread when someone inhales contaminated water droplets, commonly found in hot tubs, air conditioning systems, and even drinking water. While most infections are sporadic, outbreaks can occur in large facilities like hotels, hospitals, and apartment buildings.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically appear between two to 14 days after exposure and can include headache, muscle aches, shortness of breath, cough, and fever. The disease can be severe enough to require hospitalization and can even be fatal. It primarily affects adults over 50 years old, with additional risk factors including smoking, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and other immunocompromising conditions.
There is also a milder infection caused by Legionella bacteria called Pontiac fever. This infection is characterized by fever and muscle aches but does not involve pneumonia.
Health officials emphasize that anyone who develops pneumonia symptoms should seek medical attention immediately and mention any potential exposure to Legionella bacteria or recent travel or hospital stays.
For any questions regarding the New Hampshire health agency’s alert, individuals can contact them at 603-271-4496.
This incident highlights the importance of proper maintenance and control of water systems in places such as hotels and resorts to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria. It also serves as a reminder for individuals to be aware of the symptoms and risks associated with Legionnaires’ disease.