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Number of cases in deadly Hampton Beach Legionnaires' disease outbreak rises to 18

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 19. 2018 10:23AM
Water samples taken from the Sands Resort hot tub were found to be growing the same strain of Legionella bacteria that was isolated from a patient diagnosed with Legionnaires, according to DHHS. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Correspondent)



HAMPTON — State health officials have increased the number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease to 18, following an outbreak in Hampton this summer which left one person dead and 16 hospitalized.

Health officials believe the outbreak began near Ashworth Avenue and the surrounding area between June 10 and Aug. 26.

No new cases have been reported since the hot tubs at the Sands Resort and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel were shut down in the last week of August, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Tuesday.

Water samples taken from the Sands Resort hot tub were found to be growing the same strain of Legionella bacteria that was isolated from a patient diagnosed with Legionnaires, suggesting that the hot tub at the resort was a source of the disease, according to DHHS.

Sands Resort hired an environmental consultant to clean and monitor the facility’s water system. It was cleaned the week of Sept. 3 and the consultant collected new water samples that are being tested to make sure the Legionella bacteria has been eliminated.

The Legionnaires’ disease risk to the public is reduced while the hot tub is closed and the water system is undergoing remediation, DHHS said.

Environmental and water test results from the Harris Sea Ranch Motel hot tub have been negative for Legionella, according to DHHS. The absence of Legionella may be due to the very high levels of chlorination found in this hot tub at the time of sampling, so the motel cannot be completely ruled out as a potential source of Legionnaires’ disease, DHHS added.

Anyone with information or questions about the outbreak is asked to call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Public Inquiry Line at 271-9461. A CDC webpage dedicated to the outbreak can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html.

pfeely@unionleader.com


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