Legionnaires’ Disease found in Casselton hotel

Published: Feb. 22, 2019 at 10:46 AM CST
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The North Dakota Department of Health and Fargo Cass Public Health say they’re responding to reports Legionnaires’ disease associated with a hotel water park in Casselton, N.D. Three cases have been reported to NDDoH since July 2018. All the cases were reported after spending time at Days Inn of Casselton prior to their illnesses.

Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterial pneumonia that can be severe, so prompt diagnosis and antibiotic treatment is important. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and coughing. The disease is spread by inhaling the fine spray from water sources containing Legionella bacteria. It is not spread from person to person.

In 2018, 10 people were reported to have Legionnaires’ disease in North Dakota. Two individuals with Legionnaires’ disease have been reported in 2019.

The department says “Prior to any remediation, water and sand filter samples were collected from the hotel on January 8 and 9. One of the samples from the spa filter was found to have Legionella bacteria detected through laboratory testing. Hotel staff further cleaned and disinfected the spa. After this remediation, a subsequent sample collected January 31 from the spa tested negative. However, Legionella bacteria was detected in a sample collected from the spa filter on February 13. Spas are often associated with Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks due to their temperature and ability to aerosolize Legionella bacteria in small water droplets.”

“If you spent time at the hotel, especially in the water park area, between Feb. 7 and 21 and are ill with undiagnosed pneumonia or you develop symptoms in the two weeks following your visit, please see a health care provider to be evaluated for possible Legionnaire’s disease,” said Laura Cronquist, epidemiologist with the NDDoH. “There are no recommendations to prevent illness once people have been exposed to Legionella bacteria. Instead, the focus is on rapid diagnosis and treatment if people develop symptoms after a possible exposure.”