Attendees of the Mountain State Fair are part of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Buncombe County, NC that has sickened 128 people, killing one of them. Health officials are working with fair organizers to determine how attendance to the event, which occurred earlier this month, is linked to the outbreak.
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia that is transmitted when water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria are inhaled. Symptoms of an infection usually develop within two weeks of exposure. They include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath. Legionnaires’ disease is treated with antibiotics, patients with severe infections also receive oxygen.
Some people are at elevated risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease. They include people over 50, current and former smokers and people with weakened immune systems. Most people who contract Legionnaires’ disease require hospitalization and about 20 percent of cases are fatal.
Of the 15 cases reported, nine were confirmed in Buncombe County and were confirmed in Henderson County. All of the people sickened in this outbreak were hospitalized.
John Lyda, 57, made several visits to the fair earlier this month, now he’s in the ICU at Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville on six liters of oxygen, his daughter Jena Rezentes told WLOS. After he completes his stay at the hospital he will need respiratory therapy.
Jena Johnson, 12, attended the fair with her family and became very sick two days later. She was diagnosed with mycoplasma pneumonia and was not tested for Legionnaires’ disease. Her treatment during her five-day stay at Mission Hospital included antibiotics and eight liters of hgh-flow oxygen, mother told WLOS.
The Legionnaires’ disease attorneys at Pritzker Hageman represent clients nationwide who have been sickened and families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. If you or a loved one are part of this outbreak, call us for a free consultation at 1(888) 377-8900 (toll-free), text 612-261-0856 or use the form below.