Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Confirmed at Aria Resort in Las Vegas

A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak has been traced to the Aria Resort & Casino, a posh Las Vegas Strip resort. According to various media reports, at least six people have become ill, and guests who stayed at the Aria Resort & Casino between June 21 and July 4 have been notified that they may have been exposed to high levels of the bacteria that cause <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/diseases">Legionnaires’ disease.

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, all six cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). All six victims were treated and have recovered.

According to a CBS News report, Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling legionella bacteria that grows in hot tubs, air conditioners, and decorative fountains. A letter from the Aria Resort & Casino to its guests said that the tainted water source had been treated and now showed no detectable levels of the bacteria.

People who stayed at the Aria resort during the two week time period have been advised to watch for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, including headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, phlegm-heavy cough, chest pain, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and mental changes like confusion. According to CBS News, symptoms can show up as long as 14 days after exposure to bacteria.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia, which if untreated can be fatal. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to Legionnaires’ disease. The disease usually clears up with treatment, but in some cases, victims will continue to experience problems. Legionnaires’ disease is not spread through person-to-person contact.

According to the CDC, Legionnaires’ disease sickens between 8,000 and 18,000 people a year, and proves fatal in between 5 and 30 percent of cases. Although Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and in other parts of the body, including the heart. Complications may include respiratory failure, kidney failure and septic shock.

The disease got its name from an outbreak that occurred at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976. According to the New York Times, that outbreak eventually killed 34 people.

Earlier this year, about 200 people contracted Legionnaires’ disease from a hot tub at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles, according to a Reuters report.

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