'Cluster' of Legionnaires' disease cases reported in B.C.: health authorities

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CONCORD, NH -The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued an order to the Sands Resort, 32 Ashworth Avenue, Hampton, to take immediate steps to remediate the Legionella bacteria identified at the facility and notify guests of the bacteria's presence.

Along with the 12 incidents of Legionnaires' disease at Hampton Beach, including at least one which resulted in death, August saw two confirmed cases of this bacterial pneumonia in Nashua. "The Health Department will evaluate the building's plumbing to look for evidence of Legionella bacteria in the building's water system", officials said.

The disease is a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling mist or small drops of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

No one answered the phone at the hotel Monday morning.

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Martin said upon interviewing the Nashua patients, health officials determined the cases were not connected to the Hampton outbreak. Others have died from complications of the disease.

Symptoms of Legionnaires' Disease include cough, shortness of breath, fever, and muscle aches.

The investigation will continue throughout the Labor Day weekend, including additional environmental testing and conducting interviews and re-interviews with the individuals who contracted the disease.

The bacteria is commonly found in freshwater, groundwater and soil. Yet, only a small fraction of people get sick from exposure to the Legionella baceria, health department officials said past year, which typically afflicts those who are older, or who have weakened immune systems. It can not be passed from person to person contact and it can not be contracted by drinking or coming into physical contact with water containing the bacteria.

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