A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at Water Oak Country Club in Lady Lake, FL has sickened two people. Health officials say they traced the source of the outbreak to Legionella bacteria in the water in the hot tub at the clubhouse.
Owned by Sun Communities Inc., Water Oak Country Club is a 55+ living community located about an hour north of Orlando.

Senior living communities are responsible for providing a safe environment for their residents,” said Fred Pritzker, a Legionnaires’ Disease attorney who represents clients nationwide and recently secured a $3 million settlement.

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Water Oak Country Club Legionnaires’ Disease Investigation Points to Hot Tub

Legionella Bacteria - CDC
Legionella bacteria cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. This image is from the CDC.

The Florida Department of Health (FDH) in Lake County is investigating the outbreak. Health officials have identified two laboratory-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ Disease, one a resident of Lake County and the other a visitor from out of the area. FDH, which was notified of both cases on April 16, 2018, is trying to determine if other people also may have been sickened.

The two people sickened had used the hot tub several times in the month of March, according to FDH. However, health officials have included February in their investigation to ensure identification of any additional cases that may have occurred two incubation periods (as long as 10 days) before the earliest onset.

FDH obtained samples from the implicated hot tub to test for presence of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. These samples were sent to the state lab in Jacksonville, FL. It may take a few weeks for the results to be available.

Water Oak Country Club Legionellosis Risk

Anyone who has visited the Water Oak Country Club hot tub since Feb. 1 could have been exposed to the bacteria and become sick and may have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, also referred to as legionellosis. If so, they are encouraged to call the Department of Health at (352) 771-5573. If you have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease or pneumonia, you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker and his team at 1-888-377-8900 (toll-free).

Legionella in the Lungs
Legionnella bacteria found in pneumonia patient.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease include high fever, headache, muscle aches, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually set in between two and 14 days after exposure to bacteria and last about a week.  Treatment with antibiotics is required, hospitalization is not uncommon. People over 50 are at the highest risk for Legionnaires’ Disease. Others at elevated risk are people with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.

Legionnaires’ Disease is not transmitted through person-to-person contact. It is spread when water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria are inhaled. Common sources include hot tubs and spas; and the cooling towers, hot water tanks and large plumbing or air-conditioning systems of large buildings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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To contact the Legionnaires’ Disease attorneys at Pritzker Hageman, call 1 888-377-8900 toll-free.