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94 Individuals Sent to the Hospital, Four Die from Legionnaires’ Disease from Hot Tub Display

October 29, 2019

FLETCHER, NC – According to an online news report at, 94 individuals were sent to the hospital and four tragically died from contracting Legionnaires’ disease after stopping by a public hot tub display at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair.*

The fair that took place between September 6 and 15 appears to be the common link among those who have contracted the disease. Thus far, there have been 133 cases of Legionnaires’ disease that has been reported to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.  94 individuals required hospitalization, while four that were diagnosed with the disease ultimately died.  

There were eight individuals who have been reported as having contracted Pontiac fever after having attended the fair.  This condition is a less severe form of Legionnaires’ that causes people to be ill for only a few days.  According to the Mayo Clinic, Legionnaires’ is much more virulent, which results in a “severe form of pneumonia” that can be deadly if not immediately treated.  

Legionella, the bacteria responsible for causing Legionnaires’, exists in wet conditions such as pools, hot tubs and plumbing systems.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that hot tubs are the main source of Legionnaires’ disease if they are not properly sanitized.  The bacteria can survive in the air surrounding a source of the disease such as a hot tub.  It appears that those who passed by the hot tub display at the fair contracted the airborne disease.  

Legionnaires’ cannot be transferred from person-to-person, however, it is very dangerous for immunocompromised people such as children, the elderly and former smokers.

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