5 with Legionnaires’ Disease in Hopkins, MN

Update: There are now 23 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the outbreak linked to Citrus Systems, Inc. in Hopkins, MN.

Five people in Hopkins, Minnesota, have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia caused by breathing in water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Legionella Bacteria
Legionella bacteria, shown here, cause Legionnaires’ disease. Contact our Minneapolis law firm for a free consultation with a lawyer. Our lawyers have won many Legionnaires’ disease cases for both people sickened (personal injury) and the families of people who tragically did not survive (wrongful death).

Today, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) released a press release regarding this outbreak:

“The Minnesota Department of Health is working with Hennepin County Public Health officials to investigate a cluster of five confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in people who live or work in Hopkins, Minn. The people became ill between Aug. 4 and Sept. 1. Three are currently hospitalized, and two others were hospitalized and have recovered. The patients are all over the age of 50.”

Finding the Source of a Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

Finding the source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak involves:

  1. determining all of the places the people sickened went in the week prior to onset of symptoms;
  2. finding those areas where they all visited; and
  3. testing water in buildings in those areas for the presence of Legionella bacteria;
  4. when Legionella is found, doing further testing to get a DNA fingerprint of the bacteria;
  5. determining if the DNA fingerprint of the Legionella found in the water matches the DNA fingerprint of the Legionella bacteria that sickened the outbreak victims.

The water samples should be tested from cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings), cooling misters, decorative fountains, and plumbing systems.

The Minnesota Department of Health is one of the best health departments in the United States, and we have confidence they will find the source of this outbreak. With 5 people sickened, it is a significant outbreak, and until the source is found, others may be at risk.

Who is Legally Responsible?

When the source of this outbreak is found, the owner of the building with the contaminated water is generally legally responsible. This means anyone sickened has the legal right to file a lawsuit for Legionnaires’ disease compensation.

Past outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked to hotels and motels, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, shopping centers, grocery stores and office buildings.


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Category: Legionnaires' Disease
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