Officials investigating ‘cluster’ of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Surrey

A close-up shot of Legionella pneumophila bacteria

Legionella outbreak in Surrey likely from local source

New Hampshire health officials have ordered a Hampton beach hotel to take immediate steps to remove a potentially deadly bacteria from its water system.

Our partners at NECN report the order comes just days after 14 people who were in a specific area of Hampton contracted Legionnaire's disease.

No one answered the phone at the hotel Monday morning. It often grows and spreads in water systems like cooling towers, decorative fountains, plumbing systems and hot tubs that aren't cleaned properly.

New Hampshire averages about 32 cases of Legionnaires' disease each year.

One of them, an elderly man, has died.

The Department of Health found six of the 13 water tanks at the Saint Nicholas Houses tested positive for elevated levels of Legionella bacteria.

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DPHS and experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working diligently to identify a potential source of the bacteria. The majority of cases stayed or resided in the Ashworth Avenue area, between Island Path and M Street, but may have had other exposures in the area. The flyer that informed them about the occurrences says the department notifies residents when there are two or more cases reported in a building during a 12-month period.

Legionnaires' disease can not be spread from person to person.

The history surrounding Legionnaires' is well known, which might explain why many fear even the mention of the disease.

Although most people exposed to Legionella will not get sick, it can cause severe illness and sometimes result in death.

Legionnaires' disease symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include a cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.

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