Eighty-four attendees of the K Academy basketball camp for adults held August 11-15 on the Duke University campus are receiving treatment for Legionnaires’ disease, a severe, often fatal form of pneumonia that develops when people inhale water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Legionnaires’ disease is not spread from person to person.  Duke environmental health personnel have determined that the source of the exposure was in the training room of the Schwartz-Butters Building.


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That area is being cleaned and Legionella mitigation efforts are underway. Other parts of that building were not impacted by the outbreak. No Duke University athletes were sickened.

There has been a sharp increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases in recent months as buildings reopened after COVID-19 closures. The people sickened in this outbreak are experiencing typical Legionnaires’ disease symptoms including fever, muscle aches, nausea, and difficulty breathing. Most people with Legionnaires’ disease require hospitalization and about 10 percent of all cases are fatal.

Legionella bacteria are found in nature but grow best in the warm, stagnant water of the plumbing systems, cooling towers, whirlpools, and fountains. Because Legionella contamination is a known risk to these types of plumbing systems, building managers are required to have water management plans that control for it.

Experienced Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyers

Our Legionnaires’ disease lawyers represent people nationwide who have been sickened by contaminated water and the families of those who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one.  If you or a loved one were sickened in this outbreak, our legal team can help. For a free consultation, please fill out the form below, call 1-888-377-8900, or text 612-261-0856.

Test tube marked "Legionella," Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Duke