One person has died and another is in the hospital after being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following a hotel stay at a New Hampshire resort and spa.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services issued an alert Friday that two out-of-state residents became ill after staying at the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire.
Although the two people — one from Rhode Island and the other from Massachusetts — remained at the resort, health officials say an investigation is underway to identify potential sources of exposure.
For its part, the station said on Facebook that “the state has confirmed that it cannot be certain where these individuals acquired their infection,” adding that it is working closely with the Division of New Hampshire Public Health Services and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services “to determine whether the two individuals were affected as a result of their visit to the property in the fall of 2023.”
Mountain View said it is “fiercely committed to the well-being of everyone who walks through the door.”
“We continue to follow our strict and consistent protocols to ensure the maximum health and safety of our guests and employees while we await the results of recently conducted testing to confirm the potential source,” the resort wrote in a response on Facebook.
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of bacterial pneumonia. Here’s what you need to know.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria.
Legionella bacteria is spread when a person inhales tiny droplets of contaminated water, commonly found in spas, industrial air conditioning systems and even in drinking water.
Most infections are sporadic, but outbreaks can occur and are often associated with exposure to contaminated common water found in large facilities like hotels, hospitals, and apartment buildings.
People who become ill after being exposed to Legionella bacteria can develop two different illnesses: Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever.
The CDC says symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the bacteria and may include:
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
Legionnaires’ may also be associated with other symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and confusion. The illness is often severe enough to require hospitalization and can be fatal, according to the CDC.
New Hampshire health officials have not released any further details about the two cases associated with Mountain View, but the CDC says the majority of cases are occurring in adults over 50 years old. Other risk factors include smoking, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and other immunocompromising diseases like cancer.
Pontiac fever is a milder infection than Legionnaire’s disease and its symptoms are mainly fever and muscle pain. Pontiac fever is different from Legionnaires’ fever because a person with Pontiac fever does not have pneumonia.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of pneumonia should seek immediate medical attention and report whether they have been exposed to Legionella bacteria, used a spa, traveled, or been in hospital in the past two weeks. .
Questions regarding the New Hampshire Health Agency alert can be directed to 603-271-4496.