Number of Legionnaire’s Disease cases in NH climbs to 18

HAMPTON, N.H. (WHDH) - Health officials have confirmed 18 cases of Legionnaire’s Disease in Hampton, New Hampshire, which left 16 hospitalized and one dead.

The illnesses stemmed from Ashworth Avenue and the surrounding area between June 10 and August 26.

No new cases have been reported since the hot tubs at the Sands Resort and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel were shut down during the last week in August, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced.

Water samples taken from the Sands Resort hot tub have been found to be growing the same strain of Legionella bacteria that was isolated from a patient diagnosed with Legionnaire’s, suggesting that the hot tub at the resort as a source of the disease, according to DHHS.

Sands Resort hired an environmental consultant to clean and monitor the facility’s water system. It was cleaned the week of Sept. 3 and the consultant collected new water samples that are being tested to make sure the Legionella bacteria has been eliminated.

The Legionnaires’ disease risk to the public is reduced while the hot tub is closed and the water system is undergoing remediation, DHHS said.

Environmental and water test results from the Harris Sea Ranch Motel hot tub have returned negative for Legionella, according to DHHS.

The absence of Legionella may be due to the very high levels of chlorination found in this hot tub at the time of sampling, so the motel cannot be completely ruled out as a potential source of Legionnaires’ disease, DHHS added.

If you have information or questions about this outbreak, please call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Public Inquiry Line by calling 603-271-9461. There’s also a CDC webpage dedicated to the outbreak at https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html.

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