Health Care

Showers shut down at Florida gyms linked to Legionnaires'

Showers shut down at Florida gyms linked to Legionnaires'”

Health officials said they have identified the source of the Legionella bacteria as coming from the community hot tub.

The Florida Department of Health is looking into a suspected case of Legionnaires' disease at Watercrest Assisted Living in Jacksonville.

It will take about two weeks in all the cases to get definitive results.

Legionnaires' disease spreads when people breathe small droplets of water infected with Legionella bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The affected gyms are at Kirkman Road and Conroy Road in the MetroWest area, and on Orange Blossom Trail near State Road 417 in the Hunter's Creek area.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the executive vice president of public affairs and corporate communications of Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of Rio, Richard Broome, said that because of the outbreak, they were moving guests from the rooms where Legionnaires' disease might be to other clean guest rooms. Legionnaires' disease primarily affects certain groups of individuals such as those ≥50 year of age, current or former smokers, and those with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems.

Other LA Fitness locations in Orange County werethe source of confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease in Orange County in 2010 and 2008. Usually found in fresh water, it can pollute hot water tanks, showers, faucets, and hot tubs that are not properly drained and cleaned after each use, fountains, large plumbing systems, and large air conditioners.

The health club sent notices to customers last week, warning them to watch for signs of Legionnaires' disease.

Pearson also said warm weather might also help give Legionella better conditions to grow. Thus preventing hospitalized patients from developing Legionnaires' disease is the ultimate goal.

"This is a serious illness, it's a serious form of pneumonia, what they're finding is they have the fever, the cough, shortness of breath or chills and aches", said Kent Donahue, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital.

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