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1 death, 11 sick from Legionnaires’ disease in Napa County

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One person died and 11 contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Napa County, California, according to health officials.

The Legionella bacteria that cause it were detected in the cooling towers of the Embassy Suites Napa Valley in the City of Napa, the county health department. Saidbut investigations are ongoing and other sources are being tested.

None of the 12 people who got sick in the outbreak that began on July 11 were staying at the hotel and were not employees, Napa County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Lercio said at a press conference Wednesday. rice field.

All 12 are Napa County residents, not tourists, and in many cases they live in the area where the hotel is located.

Three people remained hospitalized Wednesday, one of them on a ventilator, Relucio said.

Legionella bacteria live in water and can spread when that water is aerosolized.

“If a cooling tower is contaminated with bacteria, it can spread for up to a mile,” says Relucio.

Its cooling towers have been taken offline, “reducing ongoing risks to public health,” the health ministry said.

Multiple sources are often found in outbreak areas, according to the agency.

Legionellosis causes severe pneumonia. The deceased was described as being over the age of 50 and having risk factors for serious illness.

People with the disease range in age from 58 to 80, Relucio said.

“One of the things we are aware of is that we have underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or other chronic conditions.”

Hilton, which owns Embassy Suites, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

Health officials have not identified hotel guests or employees infected with the disease, but the incubation period may be 14 days, Relucio said.

Not everyone exposed to germs gets sick, and most healthy people exposed do not get sick. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People over the age of 50, immunocompromised people, current or former smokers, or people with lung disease are at increased risk.

Officials say the bacteria naturally exist in freshwater bodies like lakes, but the main threat to humans comes when they grow and spread in man-made built water systems.

Legionnaires’ disease is rare, Relucio said. Napa County typically has 0 to 2 cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year.

Health officials said 12 cases were reported to them from 11 July to 27 July. They live in Napa City, while one lives in Calistoga, but he has visited the city, Relucio said.

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