Was a hot tub display a potential source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the East Texas State Fair?

Legionnaires’ disease is transmitted when water vapor contaminated with Legionella bacteria is inhaled. Hot tubs are a frequent source of outbreaks. And a hot tub display was identified as the source of a Legionnaires’ outbreak at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, held September 6-15 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center. At least 141 people were sickened and four people died.

There was a hot tub display at the East Texas State Fair, too. And at least two of the seven people with cases confirmed to be included in the outbreak spent time near it.

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The East Texas State Fair took place September 20 – September 29, 2019. A Legionnaires’ outbreak includes at least seven confirmed and five probable cases of Legionnaires’ disease among people who attended the fair. One of those people, Ruben Gutierrez, died from complications of his illness last week.

Both Gutierrez and Bob Brown, another man who is part of the outbreak, spent time near a hot tub display inside the Harvey Convention Center, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Gutierrez, a precinct chair for the Smith County Democratic Party, set up and ran the party’s booth inside the convention center. The booth was located near the hot tub display. Brown operated a kettle corn stand just outside the convention center. He told the paper that the entrance he used to the building each day was near the hot tub display and that he sometimes took a break on a bench near the display.

Local, state and federal health officials are still investigating the outbreak. Samples collected from the fairgrounds have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

Pritzker Hageman Legionnaires’ disease attorneys are representing a number of clients sickened at the North Carolina fair and filed the first lawsuit in association with that outbreak. They have decades of experience representing clients with Legionnaires’ disease and families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. To request you a free consultation with our experienced Legionnaires’ Team, call us at 1(888) 377-8900 (toll-free), text 612-261-0856 or use the form below

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