Fifth case of Legionnaire’s disease confirmed in NH

HAMPTON, N.H. (WHDH) - A fifth case of Legionnaire’s disease has been identified in Hampton, New Hampshire, health officials confirmed Monday.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said in a release Saturday that four people in the area of Ashworth Avenue, between Island Path and H Street, have acquired the potentially deadly bacterial pneumonia, Legionella, sometime between the end of July and start of August. Monday, they confirmed the fifth case was in the same area.

The DPHS is investigating the source of these infections. Common sources involve inhaling aerosol droplets of water from showers, hot tubs, faucets, cooling towers, misters and decorative fountains.

Legionnaire’s disease is not spread through drinking or swimming in water.

Out of an abundance of caution, DPHS asks that people who are at an increased risk of contracting this disease avoid the area.

Those who are at higher risk of getting sick are those over 50, current and former smokers, those with chronic lung disease, weakened immune systems and other underlying illnesses.

Legionnaires’ disease symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.

Symptoms will usually begin within 2 to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. However, people should watch for symptoms for about two weeks after exposure.

If you have information or questions about this outbreak, please call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. A public inquiry phone line is available to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including over the weekend, by calling 603-271-9461, or for those calling from within the state of New Hampshire, toll-free at 1-800-852-3345 ext. 9461.

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