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Another case of Legionnaires’ disease has occurred in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, bringing the total to 15 including one death since July 2018. All of the victims either lived or traveled in the city. The CDC has completed its environmental assessment by taking water samples from cooling towers and water features such as decorative fountains. Final results have not been released. What is interesting is the local health department’s comment that often a single source for the outbreak is not found. That is not the experience of this law firm. The most recent example is the outbreak associated with the Opera House in the Bronx where a cooling tower was found to be the source of the outbreak. A more relevant example is the water feature in a restaurant that was the source of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Rapid City, South Dakota from June to November 2005. In that outbreak, the South Dakota Department of Health teamed with the CDC to conduct an investigation as to the source of the outbreak. Although various cooling towers had the legionella bacteria in them, only one site, the restaurant with the water feature, had the strain of bacteria that matched between the patient and the environmental source. Perhaps the health department in the current outbreak should hold off on making any comments until the investigation is completed.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:11 am

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