2 cases of Legionnaires' disease linked to hot tub in Lady Lake

Lake County health officials investigate tub at 55-plus community

File photo.
File photo.

LADY LAKE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Lake County is investigating two confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease linked to a hot tub in a 55-plus community in Lady Lake, officials said.

Health officials said a Lake County resident and a visitor from outside the area contracted the disease.

"We were notified of our first case on April 16, and the additional case later that afternoon," health officials said in a statement."

The two cases confirmed multiple exposure dates in the month of March, but health officials said they're investigating whether any additional cases may have occurred earlier.

"While more cases of Legionnaires' disease occur during summer and early fall months, the organism can be present in water systems at any time the environment presents suitable conditions for growth," officials said.

What is Legionnaires' disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires disease is caused by the legionella bacteria.

The disease is also referred to as the Pontiac fever, after the first outbreak occurred at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976.

How does it grow?

The bacteria can grow and multiply in various parts of a building's water system and grows best in warm water.

What are common symptoms?

The bacteria can cause pneumonia-like symptoms, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fever, and headaches. Symptoms can show up as many as 10 days after exposure.

In 2015, the CDC reported there were 6,000 cases of the disease reported in the United States.

What age group is poses the greatest risk?

The CDC said people with the highest risk are 50 years or older, or people who have a weak immune system.


About the Author: