The Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Four Seasons 55+ community in Palm Springs, California is being investigated by noted Legionnaires’ disease lawyer Fred Pritzker. Pritzker is founding partner of Pritzker Hageman which, as one of the few law firms in the country that successfully handles Legionnaires’ cases, has won millions for its clients including a recent $3 million settlement from a hotel chain.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, is spread when water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria are inhaled.
It is not transmitted through person-to-person contact and must be treated with antibiotics.
Pools, hot tubs, fountains, spas and the cooling towers, hot water tanks and plumbing or air-conditioning systems of large buildings are locations where Legionella bacteria is commonly found. Hotels are a common location of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease usually develop within two weeks of exposure to bacteria and last about seven days. They include:
- High fever
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
People over the age of 50 and those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems are at elevated risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease. Hospitalization is often required.
Four Seasons Legionnaires’ Outbreak
At least two Four Seasons residents have contracted Legionnaires’ disease since the beginning of this year. Last week, the pool areas at Four Seasons were closed so a private company could test the water. Results received this week show there was Legionella bacteria in the pool and spa area. Hot tubs are a common source of Legionnaires’ disease. Four Seasons management says the pools will be drained and deep cleaned as part of the process to bring the problem under control.