The Southern Nevada Health District has launched an investigation into two reported cases of Legionnaire’s Disease connected to Harrah’s Laughlin Hotel and Casino. The affected guests stayed at the hotel in November 2017 and March 2018. The normal incubation period for Legionnaire’s Disease is 2 to 10 days after exposure. The Health District is urging any guests who stayed at the hotel and exhibited symptoms of Legionnaire’s Disease as early as October 2017 to report their illness via survey at www.snhd.info/survey2018.
The Health Department conducted testing of Harrah’s at Laughlin confirming the presence of Legionella in various water samples collected on site. The hotel has since completed remediation including hyper chlorination to destroy the bacteria. The hotel has also created new procedures for water management to prevent future outbreaks.
Large plumbing systems, like those in hotels, are a common source of Legionella bacteria. Complex plumbing systems often house pipes with low airflow where water can stagnate. Stagnant water, without proper chlorination, encourages the growth of Legionella.
The outbreak at Harrah’s highlights the need for vigilance in preventing outbreaks. Researchers predict that about 20,000 people will contract Legionnaire’s disease this year. These incidences are frequently fatal.
Two confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s Disease connected to the same source in a 12-month period is considered an outbreak by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The recent Nevada outbreak follows an uptick in Legionnaire’s disease cases throughout the country. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Michigan and Hawaii, and Legionella was recently discovered in the Illinois Capitol Complex building.
Legionnaire’s Disease is a rare but serious illness contracted by inhaling water droplets from infected sources. Common sources of exposure include pools, hot tubs, large plumbing systems, and decorative water features. Symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease include shortness of breath, fever, cough, muscle aches, and headaches. Symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease should never be ignored.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.