Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Sioux Falls, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) has asked for help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after 14 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease all required hospitalization in Sioux Falls, according to a news release by the state. One victim died.

Twenty-four cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe type of pneumonia (or lung infection), have been reported in South Dakota in 2018. The state typically sees between eight and 15 cases annually.

“This is something that we wanted to raise awareness, specifically to help identify additional individuals who may be ill within the community that should be seeking their health-care provider for testing, ” state epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton, Ph.D., MPH, told KELOLAND News. “This is not a huge concern in terms of the overall risk. What we’re seeing is a general increase.”

Hunt is on for source(s)
The DOH is interviewing patients to identify commonalities and to try to pinpoint possible exposure areas and determine the cause(s) of the illnesses. The DOH also has contacted health-care providers in Sioux Falls to notify them of the increase to assist them in quickly diagnosing and treating the disease.

Because of the similarity to other forms of pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease often goes undetected, unless special laboratory tests are performed.

“In addition to enhanced case investigations, CDC will assist us with environmental assessments and testing to identify water sources that may contain the Legionella bacteria,” Clayton was quoted in the news release. “However, it is often the case that a single source may not be found.”

The Sioux Falls Health Department will be coordinating outreach to local businesses.

Watch for symptoms
If you live, work in, or travel through Sioux Falls, you should be overly cautious. If you are feeling sick, it’s recommended you see your health-care provider immediately out of an abundance of caution.

Legionnaires’ disease symptoms are similar to those of other types of pneumonia, and they can even resemble those of influenza (flu). Those symptoms include:

  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics when diagnosed early. If not diagnosed quickly, the disease can lead to severe complications and even become deadly. It is not contagious; that is, it cannot be passed from person to person.

One in 10 patients infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

Who is most at risk?
The 14 illnesses in Sioux Falls affected people who either reside or traveled to the city. Those sickened range in age from 36 to 80 years old, with a median age of 57.

Most people exposed to the bacteria don’t develop the disease, but anyone can become ill from Legionella. Those most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, both current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

Outbreak? Cluster? Community-acquired?
The terms “cluster” and “outbreak” are used when multiple cases are reported in or around the same proximity and within a designated period. The term “community-acquired” is used when there are no commonalities; these kinds of cases are the most common.

If two or more illnesses occurred in the same general vicinity within a period of three to 12 months, the term “cluster” would be used.

If two or more cases are reported within days or weeks, rather than months, and occurred in a more limited geographic area – meaning officials can pinpoint a specific area within a city where illnesses occurred – then the term “outbreak” would be used.

The DOH has not classified the increase in cases within Sioux Falls.

Legionnaires’ 101

Legionnaires’ disease is also known as legionellosis or Legionella pneumonia. According to the CDC, an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur in the U.S. annually. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Possible sources
Outbreaks and clusters have been linked to a number of sources, such as:

  • large plumbing systems
  • showers and faucets
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • decorative fountains
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems.

Warmer weather a problem
Legionnaires’ disease is “an emerging disease in the sense that the number of recorded cases of Legionnaires in the United States continues to increase,” said Laura Cooley, MD, MPH from the CDC’s Respiratory Diseases Branch.

In a 2017 interview, Cooley said the increase is due to a rise in the susceptibility of the population, with more and more people on immunosuppressive medications. There also could be more Legionella in the environment, with warmer temperatures creating the right conditions for bacterial growth.

Seventeen of the 18 warmest years since modern record-keeping began have occurred since 2001, according to analyses by both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The four warmest years on record have occurred since 2014, with 2017 being the warmest non-El Niño year recorded.

This year is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year on record. The only years hotter were the three previous ones.

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease at The Sands Resort, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


Health officials raised the number of individuals sickened in the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Hampton, NH, to 18 as they announced that the investigation into the outbreak is concluding, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Sixteen of the 18 people were hospitalized and included one fatality. The individuals took ill in an area of Hampton identified as Ashworth Avenue between Island Path and M Street between June 10 and August 26.

Three additional cases were identified and added to the count since the hot tubs at The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel were shut down in late August. Both facilities were suspected to be possible sources for the outbreak.

After the hot tubs were shut down, it was learned by WMUR News 9 that neither The Sands nor the Harris Sea Ranch had registered their hot tubs with the state. Registration is required by officials to ensure that public pools and spas comply with health and safety standards.

Officials said they believe the current health risk to the community to be “low.”

Sands positive for Legionella
Test results at The Sands returned elevated levels of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in the hot tub, water heater, outdoor shower hose, and the sinks and shower heads in three guest rooms. At that time that was announced, it was published that nine of the 14 people sickened were guests at the property; those numbers have not been updated.

Water samples taken from The Sands hot tub were found to be growing the same strain of Legionella bacteria that was isolated from one of the patients diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, indicating that the hot tub was a source, the DHHS said.

The Sands water system was remediated in early September, and new samples have been collected for testing by an independent laboratory to ensure that Legionella has been eliminated from the facility.

Harris Sea Ranch tests negative
Environmental and water testing results from the Harris Sea Ranch were negative for Legionella, but officials denoted those results did not rule out the facility as a potential source. Very high levels of chlorination found in the hot tub at the time of sampling may have resulted in the absence of Legionella from the samples.

“It just means it’s not there anymore,” Jake Leon, DHHS director of communications, told seacoastonline.com. “It’s not cleared per say. It’s just that it didn’t come back as a positive test.”

Sands to remove hot tub
Tom Saab, owner of The Sands Resort, said the hot tub has been closed permanently and will be removed so the space can be used for something else. “It’s going to be ripped out of there,” he told seacoastonline.com. “It’s not worth the aggravation to open it.”

A lawsuit has been filed in Rockingham Superior Court by two Massachusetts women who claim they contracted Legionnaires’ disease while using the hot but during their stay at The Sands.

Legionnaires’ FAQs

Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of lung infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur yearly in the U.S. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Where do Legionella live?
Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources:

  • water systems, such as those used in apartment complexes, hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • showers and faucets
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

What are the symptoms?
Legionnaires’ disease develops anywhere from two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella. Symptoms frequently begin with the following:

  • severe headache
  • muscle aches and pains
  • chills
  • high fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

By day two or three, other symptoms develop, including:

  • coughing, which often brings up mucus and sometimes blood
  • difficulty breathing, also known as dyspnea
  • chest pains
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
  • confusion and other mental changes.

Although Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and other parts of the body, including the heart.

Who is most at risk?
Anyone can become ill from Legionella, but those most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, both current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease at The Sands Resort, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


Two central Massachusetts women are suing the Hampton, NH, resort at the center of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Nine of the 15 individuals sickened during the outbreak stayed at or visited The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach, located at 32 Ashworth Avenue. At least 12 of those sickened were hospitalized, and one victim – a senior citizen – died away.

According to court documents, Louise M. Pare of Gardner and Celeste M. Billington of Templeton are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages, alleging negligence by the Sands personnel in maintaining the hot tub and spa area. The lawsuit, which was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, NH, also claims that issues associated with the water distribution systems at the hotel resulted in the two contracting the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

Sands Resort Management Co. Inc., Andrew Escamilla, Daniel Emerson, Aqua Paradise Pools and Spas, and Sands Realty Trust members Leonard J. Samia, Thomas Saab, and Edward Saab are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, which claims negligence and a failure to warn residents of the problem.

Damages claimed
According to court documents, Pare and Billington rented condominium unit 224 at The Sands Resort on August 3-5. The lawsuit alleges Pare got “chills” on August 5 and woke up in the early-morning hours of August 6 “soaked in sweat.”

The lawsuit states Billington also became sick the night of August 5, and both women were diagnosed with legionellosis, another name for Legionnaires’ disease.

In the lawsuit, both women claim they sustained damages, including “medical expenses, loss of income, severe pain and mental suffering” as a result of their illnesses.

Legionella found
On Sept. 2, state health officials announced that preliminary testing showed increased levels of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in numerous areas at The Sands Resort:

  • hot tub
  • water heater
  • outdoor shower hose
  • sinks and shower heads in three guest rooms.

Legionnaires’ info

Legionnaires’ disease – also known as Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia (lung infection). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur in the U.S. annually. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Legionellosis symptoms
Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms can resemble those of flu, such as:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

High-risk categories
Anyone can become sick from Legionella, but those most susceptible to infection from the bacteria include:

  • people 50 years old or older
  • smokers, current and former
  • people with chronic lung disease (COPD)
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • people on specific drug protocols (for example, corticosteroids).

Where do Legionella live?
Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources, such as:

  • large plumbing systems
  • showers and faucets
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • decorative fountains
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems.

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Attorney Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Lowell, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


Four cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed in Lowell, MA, according to the Lowell Department of Public Health.

Officials said they are confident the cases are not connected to the outbreak in Hampton, NH, which has sickened 15 people, one of whom died. Hampton is approximately 40 miles northeast of Lowell.

“There are individual cases that have come up in the city,” Brendan Flynn, Lowell’s deputy director of finance health and human services, told the Lowell Sun.

While it’s not known whether the four cases are connected, Lowell health officials said the public is not believed to be at risk. No information was released on the four victims.

Officials: No risk to public
Temperatures in the area have been unseasonably warm – there have been 56 days in the 80s and 90s this summer. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), the warm, humid weather conditions “support the growth of the Legionella bacteria.”

The MPDH could not confirm the Lowell cases but said that isolated or sporadic cases of Legionnaires’ do not pose a public health concern.

Positive tests for Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia, which is a severe type of lung infection – are automatically and electronically reported to the state, prompting a public health investigation with the reporting provider.

The MPDH works with local boards of health on every reported case to identify possible sources of exposure. If multiple cases occur, the MPDH will investigate to see if the cases are connected, which could signify the existence of an outbreak or cluster.

Lowell woman beats Legionnaires’ – again
Lisa Cosseboom, 49, of Lowell, told the Sun this was her second go-round with Legionnaires’ disease. The first occurred nearly a decade ago.

She went on to say that she suspects she might have contracted Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – from a hot tub. Hot tubs are the focus of the Hampton outbreak’s investigation, but Cosseboom said had not been to Hampton.

“When I was there (in the hospital), I heard other patients with it,” said Cosseboom, who has been discharged. Her symptoms included a fever, chills, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“I’m feeling OK now,” she said. “I hope to be back to work on Monday.”

Warm, humid weather at fault?
In a 2017 interview, Laura Cooley – MD, MPH from the Respiratory Diseases Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – called Legionnaires’ disease “an emerging disease in the sense that the number of recorded cases of Legionnaires’ in the United States continues to increase.”

Cooley said the increase in cases is due to a rise in the susceptibility of the population – that is, more and more people are on immunosuppressive medications. She also suggested, as the MPDH pointed out, that because warmer temperatures create the right conditions for bacterial growth, there could be more Legionella in the environment.

Seventeen of the 18 warmest years since modern record-keeping began have occurred since 2001, according to analyses by both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The four warmest years on record have all occurred since 2014, with 2017 being the warmest non-El Niño year ever.

This year is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year on record. The only years hotter were the three previous ones.

Legionnaires’ primer

According to the CDC, an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur yearly in the United States. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of people who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Legionella sources
Outbreaks and clusters have been linked to a number of sources:

  • water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • showers and faucets
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • decorative fountains
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • equipment used in physical therapy.

High-risk categories
Anyone can become ill from Legionella, but those most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, both current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

What are the symptoms?
Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms can even resemble those of flu, which is why it often goes under-reported. Symptoms include:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Attorney Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease in New York City, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


The city of New York continues to fight a losing battle against Legionnaires’ disease as two separate incidents were confirmed in two New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments – in Harlem and the Bronx.

Three sickened in Harlem outbreak
Three people were confirmed with Legionnaires’ disease at the Saint Nicholas Houses in Manhattan. All three victims were hospitalized, but they have already been released. No additional information about the patients was released.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) detected elevated levels of Legionella bacteria in six of 13 water tanks that were tested at the public housing project. (Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.) Testing was performed by the NYCHA about two weeks ago. Remediation efforts have been conducted, including the draining and cleaning of the tanks.

Saint Nicholas Houses in Central Harlem is located between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, spanning a superblock from 127th Street to 131st Street, according to Wikipedia. The project consists of thirteen 14-story buildings containing 1,523 apartment units.

Two sickened in Bronx cluster
Two people were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease at Fort Independence Houses in the Bronx. One of the cases occurred recently, while the other was diagnosed within the past 12 months.

Health officials said they would investigate Fort Independence’s plumbing for the existence of Legionella.

Fort Independence is a 21-story housing development with 346 units, located at 3340 Bailey Avenue in the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood.

Watch for symptoms
If you live, work or travel through the vicinity of Saint Nicholas Houses or Fort Independence Houses, you should be overly cautious. If you are feeling sick, it’s recommended you see your health-care provider immediately out of an abundance of caution.

Legionnaires’ disease symptoms are similar to those of other types of pneumonia, and they can even resemble those of influenza (flu). Those symptoms include:

  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia (lung infection), which is treatable with antibiotics when diagnosed early. It is not contagious; that is, it cannot be passed from person to person.

Outbreak or cluster?
Clusters and outbreaks are where multiple cases are reported in or around the same proximity and within a designated period.

The incident at Saint Nicholas is considered an “outbreak” because the three illnesses were reported within days or weeks, rather than months, and occurred in a more limited geographic area.

The incident at Fort Independence is considered a “cluster” because the two illnesses occurred in the same general vicinity within a period of three to 12 months.

Legionella troubling NYC again
It has been another busy summer for Legionnaires’ disease in New York City:

  • In August, the DOHMH identified a cooling tower at the Sugar Hill Project in Harlem as the culprit for an outbreak that infected 27 people, including one who died, in the upper Manhattan neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights.
  • Also in August, New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) confirmed that two of its employees, working out of separate locations, were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.
  • In late July, two cases were confirmed at Clinton Manor, a property for Section 8 tenants in the Manhattan neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen.

Legionnaires’ info

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur yearly in the U.S. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

One in 10 patients infected with Legionnaires’ will die from the disease.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Legionella sources
Legionnaires’ disease clusters and outbreaks have been linked to numerous sources, such as:

  • cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • showers and faucets
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

People at increased risk
Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but people 50 years old and older – especially those who smoke and have chronic lung conditions – are at a higher risk.

Other people more susceptible to infection include:

  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Attorney Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Hampton, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced the addition of one more case of Legionnaires’ disease in Hampton, raising the total to 15 people sickened in the outbreak.

Also, it was learned that hot tubs at The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel – shut down as a precaution during the investigation – were not registered with the state, according to WMUR News 9. Registration is required by officials to ensure that public pools and spas comply with health and safety standards.

Officials announced last weekend that preliminary environmental testing at The Sands uncovered elevated levels of Legionella bacteria in the property’s hot tub, water heater, and outdoor shower hose, as well as the sinks and shower heads in three guest rooms. Nine of the 15 people sickened were guests at The Sands.

The DHHS ordered The Sands to begin immediate remediation and notification efforts. The Sands has retained an environmental consultant, who is already on the job, to clean the property’s water system in the hopes that it will eliminate Legionella.

The DHHS’s latest press release stated it will “provide additional updates on remediation efforts at The Sands Resort, the number of confirmed cases, and additional lab test results as more information becomes available.”

Results from testing at other locations are expected later this week, according to DHHS communications director Jake Leon.

Of the 15 cases, 13 of the patients were hospitalized, and one senior died. The majority of the illnesses occurred within a half-mile-plus stretch of Ashworth Avenue, between Island Path and M Street in Hampton Beach, which is a popular tourist destination and the busiest beach community in the state.

Legionnaires’ FAQs

What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease – also known as legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is similar to other types of pneumonia, which is an infection of the air sacs in one or both lungs that can produce fluid in the lungs. Symptoms can resemble those of influenza (flu) in the following ways:

  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • high fever
  • muscle aches and pains
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Who is most at risk for illness?
Anyone can get Legionnaires’ disease, but people most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

How prevalent is the disease?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur each year, but only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

How is Legionella contracted?
The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments. Outbreaks and clusters have been linked to a number of sources, such as:

  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • water systems such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • showers and faucets
  • hot water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

How serious is the disease?
The severity of Legionnaires’ disease is illustrated in a recent Epidemiology & Infection study from the University of Minnesota. Based on data from the CDC and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), “approximately 9 percent of legionellosis cases, caused by waterborne Legionella bacteria, are fatal, and 40 percent require intensive care.”

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member have contracted Legionnaires’ disease in New Hampshire, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) ordered immediate remediation efforts at The Sands Resort at Hampton Beach after Legionella bacteria were detected in the facility’s water system. The news broke shortly after state health officials confirmed two additional cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Hampton, bringing the outbreak total to 14.

Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease also were reported in Nashua, both occurring in August. State officials said the Nashua cases are unconnected to the Hampton outbreak or even related to one another. Nashua is approximately 44 miles from Hampton.

Preliminary test results returned elevated levels of Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – in The Sands’ hot tub, water heater, outdoor shower hose and sinks/showerheads in three guest rooms. Nine of the 14 individuals sickened were guests at the property.

The 14 illnesses, which were confirmed between June 14 and August 24, included 12 hospitalizations and the death of an elderly male.

Order to notify guests and remediate building
“I have issued this order to ensure the health of guests and visitors of the establishment, as well as the health of Hampton residents and visitors,” DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers was quoted in the department’s news release.

The order to remediate the water system and notify current or future guests of the outbreak and test results were issued under New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) 141-C:11-16, which requires the DHHS Commissioner to take actions necessary to protect public health. The following steps were ordered:

  1. Immediately post signage notifying guests and visitors of the Legionella outbreak occurring at your establishment. This signage must be visible to all persons at all entries to the premises and at the registration desk.
  2. Immediately notify all guests at the time of check-in of the outbreak.
  3. Immediately notify all guests at the time of reservation of the outbreak.
  4. Within 48 hours of this order, hire the services of a Legionella consultant or environmental consulting firm to conduct an assessment and initiate remediation actions within 24 hours of hire.
  5. Within 24 hours of hire, have an assessment performed by the consultant and provide the DHHS with a written summary of actions taken toward remediation at least every 48 hours.
  6. Perform ongoing Legionella testing to confirm remediation and report results to the DHHS at the become available.

The order will be in effect until the DHHS is satisfied with The Sands’ remediation efforts. Further orders will depend on additional testing results and the mitigation efforts.

The Sands not the only culprit?
The Sands has not been officially cited as the only source of the outbreak. Test results are pending from other locations in the affected area, including the Harris Sea Ranch Motel, which was one of two facilities suspected by officials – along with The Sands – as a possible source.

The majority of cases stayed at or resided in the Ashworth Avenue area between Island Path and M Street. The Sands Resort is located at 32 Ashworth Avenue.

Legionnaires’ primer

Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of lung infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur yearly in the United States. Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of people who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Warmer weather to blame?
Legionnaires’ disease is “an emerging disease in the sense that the number of recorded cases of Legionnaires’ in the United States continues to increase,” said Laura Cooley, MD, MPH from the CDC’s Respiratory Diseases Branch.

In a 2017 interview, Cooley said the increase is due to a rise in the susceptibility of the population, with more and more people on immunosuppressive medications. There also could be more Legionella in the environment, with warmer temperatures creating the right conditions for bacterial growth.

Seventeen of the 18 warmest years since modern record-keeping began have occurred since 2001, according to analyses by both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The four warmest years on record all occurred since 2014, with 2017 being the warmest non-El Niño year ever recorded.

This year is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year on record. The only years hotter were the three previous ones.

Where do Legionella live?
Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources:

  • water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • showers and faucets
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • decorative fountains
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • equipment used in physical therapy.

Who is most at risk?
Anyone can become ill from Legionella, but those most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, both current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

What are the symptoms?
Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms can even resemble those of flu, which is why it often goes under-reported. Symptoms include:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member have contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Hampton, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


The Legionnaires’ disease cluster in Hampton, NH, has turned deadly as one senior has passed away from complications of the severe-type of bacterial pneumonia. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced seven new cases, raising the count to 12.

“It is likely there will be additional cases to report in the next few days,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, at a news conference held at the Hampton Police Department.

Eleven of the 12 victims were visitors to Hampton Beach, a village district, census-designated place, and beach resort in the town of Hampton. All 12 took ill between late July and mid-August. The genders, ages, and residences of those sickened were not released.

“Federal, state and local authorities are working cooperatively and diligently to address this situation and help mitigate any additional health risks,” New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu was quoted in a DPHS statement. “Through regular communication and transparency, we will ensure members of the public have the most up to date information so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

Hot tub spas probable source
The likely source is hot tub spas at the Sands Resort and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel along Ashworth Avenue, officials said. The hot tub spas were closed, and officials said they no longer present a risk to the public. Both hotels remained open Thursday.

Tom Saab, co-owner of the Sands Resort, told Boston 25 News the hotel’s hot tub is drained and cleaned several times each week.

“They asked as a courtesy if we could shut down our hot tub, which is a very small hot tub (that) has been here for 25 years, and we’ve never had a problem whatsoever,” Saab said. “It’s immaculate. It has all brand-new filters, new pump.”

Investigation continues
Officials said they are still trying to pinpoint the source of the Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. Initially, industrial-sized air conditioning units were suspected.

A drone was used to investigate the area for other possible public sources of contamination, such as cooling towers.

“We are continuing to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate other potential sources of exposure in the community, and so far, we have not identified any other potential common sources in this area,” Chan told WMUR News 9. “We believe that the overall current health risk in the community is low.”

The area of concern
Officials said they have narrowed the infectious field to an area of Ashworth Avenue between Island Path and M Street in the Hampton Beach area, which is a popular tourist destination and the busiest beach community in the state.

Officials stressed that Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and spread from person to person. The DPHS, however, is recommending that anybody at increased risk for the disease should “consider postponing their visit to the area” in an abundance of caution.

If you’re sick, get checked
Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but it can cause a potentially severe bacterial pneumonia and even result in death, if not identified and treated early.

Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms can also resemble those of flu, and include:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“We’re interviewing people who have become infected, and we encourage anyone who may have been diagnosed with Legionella since visiting this area to please contact us,” Beth Daly, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control chief, told New England Cable News (NECN.com).

Anyone with information or questions about the outbreak is asked to call the DPHS Inquiry Line at 603-271-9461. The line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. eastern time, including weekends.

Legionella is a serious infection,” DPHS director Lisa Morris said in a statement. “We want to make sure the public is aware of the potential risk of this disease so that each person can make a decision for themselves about visiting the area in the best interest of their health.”

Cluster, not an outbreak
The illnesses are categorized as a “cluster” and not an “outbreak” because the cases are linked in space and time but there is no single source. If the health department can pinpoint a definitive source – such as a cooling tower or water system responsible for spreading the Legionella – as the cause for all the illnesses, officials would then recategorize this event as an “outbreak.”

In the past five years, New Hampshire has averaged 32 Legionnaires’ disease cases per year.

Legionnaires: What you need to know

Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia (lung infection). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur in the U.S. annually. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

Who is most susceptible to infection?
Anyone can become ill from Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, but those most at risk for infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

What could be causing the cluster?
Legionella are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Outbreaks have been linked to a number of sources, such as:

  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • water systems, such as those used in hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes
  • large plumbing systems
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • swimming pools
  • showers and faucets
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member have contracted Legionnaires’ disease in New Jersey, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


With the start of the 2018 school year just around the corner for students in Berkeley, NJ, news of a Central Regional Middle School staff member taking ill with Legionnaires’ disease has school officials on high alert, according to jerseyshoreonline.com.

It is unknown where the staff member, who had recently been on vacation, contracted the disease. No additional information was released on the staff member’s condition, age or gender.

“We are doing all tests necessary to make sure the school is safe for all employees and students,” Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said. “We are taking every precaution just to be sure.”

A water leak damaged two ceiling tiles at the school, according to Parlapanides, but the area was cleaned up in a few hours, not long enough for Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease – to form.

Legionella is most commonly spread through airborne water droplets. Mist or vapor contaminated with the bacteria and breathed into the lungs can infect a person with Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia.

Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.

Legionnaires’ FAQs

What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease – also known as legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is similar to other types of pneumonia, which is an infection of the air sacs in one or both lungs that can produce fluid in the lungs. Symptoms can resemble those of influenza (flu) in the following ways:

  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • high fever
  • muscle aches and pains
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Who is most at risk for illness?
Anyone can get Legionnaires’ disease, but people most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

How prevalent is the disease?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur each year, but only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

How does Legionella infect a person?
The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments. Outbreaks anc clusters have been linked to a number of sources, such as:

  • the cooling towers of air conditioning systems
  • large plumbing systems
  • water systems such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
  • showers and faucets
  • hot water tanks and heaters
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs and whirlpools
  • equipment used in physical therapy
  • mist machines and hand-held sprayers
  • decorative fountains.

Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126

Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease, and he has regained millions of dollars for them. If you or a family member have contracted Legionnaires’ disease in West Orange, NJ, please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.


Water testing at more than a dozen municipal buildings in West Orange, NJ, revealed elevated levels of Legionella bacteria at six buildings and properties, according to town officials.

The testing was ordered after a city employee was hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease and a test of the West Orange Town Hall – one of two municipal buildings in which the employee worked – was positive for Legionella. The employee has since returned to the job.

Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, a sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

The Fire Headquarters, Firehouse No. 2, Firehouse No. 4 and Police Headquarters tested positive for the bacteria, as did the field houses at Lafayette Park and O’Connor Park. Officials reassured the public that recreation areas at the parks were clear of Legionella.

According to West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, the township immediately shut down the water supply at all of the affected properties and ordered the same remediation efforts that were previously taken at Town Hall.

“This means filters will be installed, bottled water made available immediately, and all plumbing flushed to eliminate any bacteria,” Parisi told West Orange Patch. “We have been advised by expert consultants, including New Jersey American Water (NJAW), that these steps will fully remedy the current situation.”

NJAW released the following statement about the situation in West Orange:

“Providing safe water is New Jersey American Water’s number one priority and a responsibility we share with all our customers. Although the drinking water we deliver is treated and meets all federal and state water quality standards and requirements, the quality of that water can change once it leaves our pipes and enters domestic plumbing systems. When we became aware of the issues the Township of West Orange experienced with Legionella in the plumbing infrastructure of its Municipal Township Building, we began proactively working with Mayor Parisi, his staff, health officials and town consultants to provide expert guidance and assistance as the town works to remedy this situation. We are committed to helping the Township resolve this issue as they work to disinfect and upgrade their building systems to ensure a healthy and safe work environment for their employees.”

Before the discovery of the latest positive tests, West Orange business administrator John Sayers said that – based on expert opinions – town officials don’t believe the worker contracted the disease from the water at Town Hall since more than one person would have been likely to become sick.

Officials announced at a city council meeting they had hired Omega Environmental Services to oversee testing at all 17 municipal buildings to ensure the safety of its employees, the city’s residents, and visitors.

The water supply at Town Hall and the Department of Public Works building – the two buildings at which the employee who was sickened worked – was previously remediated.

“The following facts exist with regard to Legionella,” said Theresa De Nova, West Orange Health & Welfare health officer. “It is not contagious, person to person. … It cannot be contracted by drinking or touching water. And the way it is contracted is by inhaling contaminated water mist.”

Legionnaires’ info

Legionnaires’ disease – also called legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia – is a severe type of pneumonia (lung infection). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) occur in the U.S. annually. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of its nonspecific signs and symptoms.

Ten percent of those who become infected with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

Legionella bacteria are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets, usually in the form of mist or vapor. The bacteria, which grow best in warm water, are found primarily in human-made environments.

Factors that lead to Legionella growth
A variety of internal and external factors can lead to a Legionella problem in buildings, according to the CDC, including

  • construction
  • water main breaks
  • changes in municipal water quality
  • biofilm
  • scale and sediment
  • water temperature fluctuations
  • pH fluctuations
  • inadequate levels of disinfectant
  • changes in water pressure
  • water stagnation.

Where Legionella can grow or spread
Legionella can grow in many parts of a building’s water system that is continually wet, and certain devices can then spread contaminated water droplets. Some examples of devices where Legionella can grow and spread through aerosolization or aspiration (when water accidentally goes into the lungs while drinking) include:

  • hot and cold water storage tanks
  • water heaters
  • water hammer arrestors
  • expansion tanks
  • water filters
  • electronic and manual faucets
  • aerators
  • faucet flow restrictors
  • showerheads and hoses
  • pipes, valves, and fittings
  • centrally installed misters, atomizers, air washers, and humidifiers
  • nonstream aerosol-generating humidifiers
  • infrequently used equipment including eyewash stations
  • ice machines
  • hot tubs
  • decorative fountains
  • cooling towers
  • medical equipment (such as CPAP machines, hydrotherapy equipment, bronchoscopes, etc.).

Who is most at risk?
Anyone can become ill from Legionella, but those most susceptible to infection include:

  • people 50 years of age or older
  • smokers, current and former
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages
  • people with chronic lung disease
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one).

What are the disease’s symptoms?
Legionnaires’ disease is similar to other types of pneumonia. Symptoms also can resemble those of flu, such as:

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.