PRO/EDR> Legionellosis – Americas (16): USA (CA) fatal, day spa, RFI


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sun 6 Aug 2023
Source: P world news network [edited]

In a concerning turn of events, the Contra Costa Health Department is
currently investigating 2 fatal cases of Legionnaires’ disease that
have been linked to visits at a local day spa in Richmond. This news
has left the community on high alert, as health officials are urging
those who recently visited Zen Day Spa to closely monitor their health
and seek immediate medical care if they experience any suspicious
symptoms. The investigation is ongoing, and the health department is
taking the necessary precautions to ensure public safety. Let’s delve
deeper into the details surrounding this bacterial illness and what
steps you can take to protect yourself.

What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe bacterial infection caused by the
Legionella bacteria. While it can be found in various freshwater
ecosystems, it can also thrive in other moist environments like
showerheads and hot tubs. The disease is transmitted when individuals
inhale contaminated droplets of water present in the air.

Symptoms to watch out for:
If you have recently visited Zen Day Spa or any other place with
similar facilities, it is crucial to be vigilant for any signs of
Legionnaires’ disease. The symptoms of the illness include cough,
shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. In some
cases, individuals may also experience diarrhea, nausea, and
confusion. It’s essential to be aware that symptoms typically appear
within 2 days to 2 weeks after exposure, though the incubation period
can be longer.

Individuals at higher risk:
Certain groups of people are more susceptible to Legionnaires’ disease
than others. Those at higher risk include individuals who are 50 years
or older, current or former smokers, individuals with chronic lung
diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or
emphysema, and those with weakened immune systems due to factors such
as post-transplant operations or chemotherapy. People with cancer,
diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure are also considered at
higher risk.

Preventive measures:
To protect yourself from Legionnaires’ Disease, it is essential to
take precautionary measures when using facilities that involve water
systems. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Regular maintenance: Facilities like spas, hot tubs, and
    showerheads should undergo regular maintenance and cleaning to
    minimize bacterial growth.

  2. Temperature control: Ensuring proper temperature control of water
    systems can discourage bacterial growth.

  3. Personal hygiene: While using water facilities, try to avoid
    inhaling mist or aerosolized water droplets.

  4. Awareness: Stay informed about potential outbreaks or cases in your
    area and be mindful of any symptoms if you’ve visited a spa or similar
    establishment recently.

The ongoing investigation into the Legionnaires’ disease cases at Zen
Day Spa is a matter of concern for both the health authorities and the
public. It serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining the
cleanliness and safety of water systems in public places. If you or
anyone you know has recently visited the spa in question, it’s crucial
to remain vigilant and seek immediate medical attention if any
symptoms arise. By staying informed and taking preventive measures, we
can collectively safeguard our health and well-being in the face of
such bacterial illnesses.

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