Back in June of 2017, public health officials began to learn about the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease which occurred at the Rio Hotel-Casino, an outbreak which initially involved only 2 reported cases. Now, nearly 8 months later, the Southern Nevada Health District is reporting that in fact the Rio Hotel-Casino outbreak in fact involved 7 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease with a potential of 29 additional cases being suspected.
This kind of continued treatment and additional cases being revealed is, in some ways, relatively normal for a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. As Robert Cole, senior environmental health specialist for the Southern Nevada Health District puts it, “In a situation like this, part of the process of these investigations on an environmental aspect is continued testing and monitoring”.
As mentioned before, the investigation officially began in June after two people who had stayed at the Rio in March and April were tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease. This prompted the hotel’s staff to go ahead and disinfect the Ipanema Court and Masquerade Village towers in early June, right as the official investigation was being initiated.
Southern Nevada Health District’s disease surveillance supervisor Kimberly Hertin has commented that the department has received updates regarding Legionnaires’ disease among those guests who had left Las Vegas and were ultimately diagnosed when they returned back home. Since the timing of these exposures can often be unclear, the Southern Nevada Health District is still leaving this investigation open as the district learns more.
Clearly continued surveillance and review of this ongoing situation will be necessary however for now, it is certainly encouraging to see that the Southern Nevada Health District continues to be involved with the situation.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.