Legionnaires Outbreak

Hotel in Dubai Faces $16.7 Million Lawsuit after Guests Contract Legionnaires’ Disease

posted 4.13.2011 by Steven Heisler

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is facing a $16.7 million lawsuit in the U.S. after two guests staying at the Westin Mina Seyahi in Dubai claim they caught Legionnaires’ disease at the property, reports Arabian Business.

The suit claims that Thomas Boyle, from Britain, and Elodie Nogues, from France, contracted the disease after staying at the Westin in January and February of 2009. It claims the health of the pair deteriorated rapidly and resulted in hospital stays. The disease is a form of pneumonia spread through airborne water droplets, which thrives in water and air-conditioning systems.

Boyle arrived at the Westin with his family in late December 2008, and left several days later, in January 2009. On his return to the UK, the suit says he developed flu-like symptoms and his health deteriorated rapidly. He then spent a fortnight in a UK hospital having been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

The paper reported that Nogues started to feel weak and feverish two days after checking into the hotel with her son and a friend on February 14. With her health deteriorating, she returned to France on February 21 where she was also diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

According to the lawsuit, both plaintiffs were unable to return to their normal lives having suffered from depression and anxiety. The New York Supreme Court is deciding whether the case can go to trial, a decision that could take up to a year to make.

 

Seventh Legionnaires Disease Case in Miami Valley Hospital Confirmed

posted 3.3.2011 by Steven Heisler

DAYTON — A seventh Miami Valley Hospital patient has contracted Legionnaires’ disease, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Hospital and Montgomery County public health officials on Tuesday had confirmed that one patient diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease — a Dayton man in his 70s — had died Feb. 21, and that two additional patients had contracted the disease, raising the total number of cases at the time to six.

The hospital announced the seventh case Wednesday afternoon.

The hospital said Legionella bacteria did not cause the man’s death. But the hospital declined to say if the disease was a contributing factor in the death, citing privacy concerns.

The hospital also said the physician filling out the man’s death certificate is not an employee of the hospital or its parent, Premier Health Partners.

The hospital said it has not yet received confirmation that Legionella bacteria had been present in the water system of its new patient tower. Another week could pass before those results are available.

Miami Valley instituted water restrictions in the new tower for three days last week after identifying the initial cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases.

Legionnaires’ disease got its name in 1976, when high numbers of people attending an American Legion convention contracted the lung infection. Each year, 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with the disease in the U.S. It can cause death in 
5 percent to 30 percent of cases, but often is treated successfully with antibiotics.

From Dayton Daily News

 

Legionella Bacteria Identified at Playboy Mansion Water Source

posted 3.2.2011 by Steven Heisler

Los Angeles County public health officials have identified Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease, at a water source at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in its investigation of the source of illness that sickened people after a fundraiser earlier this month.

The Los Angeles Times reports that public health officials have suspected Legionnaires’ disease in the outbreak, a disease spread by bacteria that causes respiratory illness, such as a cough, and malaise, chills and fever.

Officials, however, have not ruled out other bacteria or viruses, because Legionella bacteria are commonly found in moist environments, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the county Department of Public Health, said in a statement.

Health officials have said that the people fell ill after they attended DomainFest’s Feb. 1-3 conference, which culminated with a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles.

DomainFest released a statement Tuesday that urged those who attended the Feb. 3 fundraising event at the Playboy Mansion to fill out a confidential survey to assist health officials with their investigation.

The name of Legionnaires’ disease stems from its discovery in 1976 when attendees of an American Legion convention in Philadelphia became sick with the bacteria and developed pneumonia. About 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with the disease every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Healthy people usually recover from the bacterial disease, which can treated with antibiotics, but death can occur in 5% to 30% of cases, the CDC said.

Posted in: Legionnaires Outbreak

 

 

OH hospital: Patients confirmed with Legionnaire’s

posted 3.1.2011 by Steven Heisler

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A hospital in Ohio says four patients over 60 have confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease, possibly from contaminated water in a new hospital building.

Officials at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton say one of the patients remains hospitalized while the other three have been discharged. The Dayton Daily News reports the hospital has declined to comment on the condition of the four, all heart patients.

The hospital is investigating whether the bacteria came from plumbing in its $135 million patient tower, which began admitting people in December. Dozens of other patients in the tower were notified Wednesday.

Legionnaire’s is a potentially deadly form of pneumonia caused by waterborne bacteria. The Daily News reports the illnesses were confirmed through tests earlier this month that identified an “unusual cluster” of cases.

Information from: Dayton Daily News

 

Playboy Mansion Legionnaires Outbreak Being Investigated by L.A. Co. Dept. of Public Health: 200 Now Reported Sick

posted 2.16.2011 by Steven Heisler

KTLA reports that the number of people who became sick after attending or working at a party at the Playboy Mansion has climbed to 200.

And according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health investigators have focused on the Playboy event as they look for the cause of the sickness.

Health officials say the possible outbreak of legionellosis, or Pontiac fever, affected people connected with the DOMAINfest Global Conference held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica on Feb. 1-3.

The 3-day conference took place at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica.

On the second night, there was a party at the Sky Bar on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, and on the third night, the finale party took place at the iconic Playboy Mansion.

Within 48 hours after leaving the mansion, scores of attendees reported coming down with symptoms including fever, respiratory problems and violent headaches.

“The department is investigating several locations associated with this conference, including the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills,” the statement said.

“At this time, Public Health has not determined that the source of exposure is limited to a specific location. The department is working to conclusively identify the source of exposure and the likely cause of illness for this suspected outbreak.”

According to the LA Times, the LA Co. Dept. of Public Health sent out an e-mail on Friday to all the attendees warning them that they had received a cluster of reports of people becoming ill after attending the conference and the Playboy Mansion event.

Pontiac fever is a mild from of legionellosis – the severe form is called Legionnaires disease.

The condition is caused by a bacteria, usually only last for 2 to 5 days and treatment is generally unnecessary.

Symptoms include fever, headache and muscle ache.

Infection usually occurs by breathing in mist from a water source contaminated with the bacteria such as hot tubs, air conditioning systems and showers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bacteria are not spread from person to person, according to the CDC, but are instead inhaled in water vapor.

Some of those who became ill said they suspected a fog machine that was used at the party.

The county Department of Public Health is investigating several locations associated with the conference, including the Playboy Mansion. “At this time, Public Health has not determined that the source of exposure is limited to a specific location. The department is working to conclusively identify the source of exposure and the likely cause of illness for this suspected outbreak,” according to a statement released by the agency on Monday.

A rep for Playboy told the New York Post that, “There is no truth in the rumor that anyone caught anything at the Playboy Mansion. Nor is there any evidence. None of the Playboy staff became ill, the deejay was in the middle of the fog and she didn’t get ill. We have been contacted by the Health Department and the Playboy Mansion is cooperating fully with the investigation.”

DOMAINfest organizers say an estimated 700 people from 30 countries attended the 3-day conference.

 

Legionnaries’ Outbreak at Playboy Mansion Being Investigated after 80 Guests Become Ill

posted 2.14.2011 by Steven Heisler

February 12, 2011 – New York - Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion has come under the scanner after more than 80 guests at a conference and party there became sick with a suspected strain of Legionnaires’ disease, according to Andhranews.net.

Those who attended the Domainfest conference in Santa Monica, held February 1 to 3, came down with symptoms including fever, respiratory infections and violent headaches.

Four Swedish guests were diagnosed with Legionellosis or pontiac fever, a milder form of Legionnaires’ caused by bacteria that thrives in warm air-conditioning systems.

Now some victims are blaming a fog machine, which steamed up the conference finale party on February 3.

“So far, the number of victims is around 80. Everybody says they became ill around 24 hours after the party,” the New York Post quoted DNJournal.com editor Ron Jackson, whose wife, Diana, was stricken, as saying.

“Four guys from Sweden were diagnosed with Legionellosis, and they have the same symptoms as everyone else.

“I don’t want to point the finger at the Playboy Mansion, but the disease lives in warm water, and people were engulfed in mist at that party,” he stated.

New Yorker Elliot J. Silver, who runs Silver Internet Ventures, also fell prey to the bug.

“It is scary everyone came down with the same thing at the same time. It knocked me on my ass. A lot of people are blaming the Playboy Mansion on the blogs, but you can’t be sure,” he said.

A rep for Domainfest said it was working with the LA County Health Department to investigate.

“There were events every night, and we are giving them a list of all the venues. We have no idea what this is or where it came from. The mansion being to blame is, at the moment, pure speculation,” the rep said.

A Playboy rep has claimed that there is no truth in the rumour that people caught something at the Playboy Mansion.

“Nor is there any evidence. None of the Playboy staff became ill, the deejay was in the middle of the fog and she didn’t get ill,” the rep said.

“We have been contacted by the Health Department and the Playboy Mansion is cooperating fully with the investigation,” the rep added.