More Legionnaires’ Cases Diagnosed

NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco County public health authorities are trying to determine what may have caused three cases of Legionnaires’ disease.

Two cases were diagnosed on the same street in Port Richey.

“We just heard of a third case that’s in a different location four miles away,” said Dr. David Johnson, director of the Pasco County Health Department.

The three cases follow last week’s outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Plant City. Three people were diagnosed to the bacterial infection in the Meadows Countrywood neighborhood last week.

One of the patients died. Initially the Hillsborough County Health Department suspected a community hot tub may have been the source of the illness. That has since been ruled out.

No known cause has been identified.

“Sometimes the cause jumps right out at you,” Pasco’s Dr. Johnson said. “But often the cause is never found,” he added.

There is no common connection between Pasco County’s three cases, except from location. Two of the patients live on the same street. The third lives nearby.

The cause could be as simple as a dirty shower head. People who live near one of the Port Richey patients say he was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance.

Johnson suggests not waiting that long for anyone who feels ill.

“If you have symptoms, if you’re developing a fever and cough you need to get in and see your doctor,” he said.

Legionnaires’ Disease comes from bacteria usually found in water. The bacteria that causes it thrives in warm and wet environments, and people contract the disease by breathing in contaminated water vapor.

“It is not contracted person to person,” explained FOX 13’s Dr. Joette Giovinco. “However, if several people were exposed to the same source, then many of those people may get sick, depending on their health.”

More information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

Original Article on My Fox Tampa Bay