'Cluster' of Legionnaires' disease cases reported in B.C.: health authorities

Hampton Beach N.H

Patients can contract Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia, when they breathe in small, airborne droplets of water that contain the bacteria, which can grow in a building's water system.

If you have information or questions about this outbreak, please call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Public Inquiry Line by calling 603-271-9461.

According to the Public Health Service of Canada, Legionnaires' disease, which is not contagious, is caused by exposure to Legionella, a bacteria found naturally in soil and water.

At least a dozen people were sickened from the disease; one elderly person died.

NH DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers issued the order after initial tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detected the presence of the Legionella bacteria from multiple sources within the Sands Resort water system, including, but not limited to the hot tub spa.

While state officials continue their investigation of the 14 cases of Legionnaires' disease in the Ashworth Avenue area of Hampton Beach, Nashua health officials said two cases occurred there in August.

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The illness, caused by the Legionella bacteria, can lead to pneumonia in people who are at higher risk of getting sick.

The statement said the hotel was cooperating with all state and federal investigators.

Test results from other locations in the affected area are still pending.

Legionnaires' disease can not be spread from person to person. Most healthy individuals do no become infected after exposure. It can not be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria (such as while swimming). It can not be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria (such as while swimming).

Health officials said the two cases in the Bronx are "not considered an outbreak or related ted to cooling towers".

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