Sick with Legionnaires’ disease?
Call (612) 337-6126
Legionnaires lawyer Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for clients. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Arnold, Missouri, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
For the second time this month, city officials in Arnold, Missouri, shut down the City of Arnold Recreation Center indoor pool – this time indefinitely – after learning of a second case of Legionnaires’ disease possibly tied to the facility. The pool was closed on Jan. 17, but the rest of the facility remains open.
The rec center was contacted last week by a Jefferson County parent who said their child had contracted the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness, prompting the latest closure.
“The parent who called said the child had been at the pool recently,” Arnold City administrator Bryan Richison told myleaderpaper.com. “We immediately notified the (Jefferson County Health Department) and (Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services); (they are) doing what they can to track it down and confirm what the person is telling us.”
Earlier this month, a St. Louis County resident was confirmed with Legionella pneumonia and, after investigating, health officials said they believed the illness was linked to the center’s indoor pool, which the patient had visited.
“The city of Arnold is initiating precautionary measures after receiving notification a second person indicated the individual had been at the Arnold Recreation Center within the last few weeks,” according to signage posted at the rec center. “Pursuant to protocols, the Jefferson County Public Health Department (JCHD) is attempting to verify the report.”
The pool was closed voluntarily on Jan. 11 and re-opened Jan. 14 after performing a “chlorine shock,” which involved pouring a large amount of chlorine into the pool to sterilize the water. Water samples were not collected at that time since only one case had been reported.
“The initial investigation that was completed did not find any conditions favorable to the growth of Legionella,” JCHD director Kelley Vollmar said. “But things are always evolving. We will continue to work with the partners to ensure the health and safety of our residents.”
It was not announced whether water testing would be performed after the notification of the second case. Information on the condition of the two people sickened was not released.
The city of Arnold is approximately 18 miles south of St. Louis, along the Illinois border.
According to health officials, there are approximately 150 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Missouri and 300 in Illinois each year. Last October, two guests of the Marriott St. Louis West hotel were diagnosed with Legionnaires. Results of testing of the hotel’s cooling tank, which is used for the hotel’s showers and drinking water, came back positive for Legionella.
Center visitors should beware
If you are a resident, visitor or employee of the Arnold Recreation Center, located at 1695 Missouri State Road, and you swam in the pool or traveled through the pool area and are feeling pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, you should seek care from your health-care provider 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 the flu:
More on Legionnaires
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 25,000 annual cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila). Only 5,000 cases are reported, however, because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.
About 10 percent of people infected with Legionella bacteria will die from the infection.
(Note: Legionnaires’ disease is also known as legionellosis and Legionella pneumonia. The scientific term for Legionella bacteria is Legionella pneumophila.)
Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and clusters have been linked to a number of sources, including:
- swimming pools
- hot tubs and whirlpools
- showers and faucets
- equipment used in physical therapy
- mist machines and hand-held sprayers
- hot-water tanks and heaters
- large plumbing systems
- cooling towers of air conditioning systems
- water systems, such as those used in hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels
- decorative fountains.
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).