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Legionnaires’ disease outbreak hospitalizes nearly 100, kills 4 in North Carolina

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Oct. 21 (UPI) — Four people have died and nearly 100 people have been hospitalized from a Legionnaires’ outbreak that health officials believe started at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair.

In all, 133 people were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ and another eight were confirmed to have the milder Pontiac fever. At least 94 were hospitalized.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services blamed hot tub displays at the fair for spreading microscopic water droplets that contained the legionella bacteria. People get sick by inhaling the bacteria. It is not contagious. Hot tubs have been known to spread the disease in the past.

Health officials haven’t identified anyone who died of the disease. CBS affiliate WSPA reported that a woman died from Legionnaires’ disease and her family had attended the N.C. Mountain State Fair prior to her being hospitalized.

In August, there was a widespread Legionnaires’ outbreak that originated in an Atlanta Sheraton Hotel.

Symptoms include muscle aches, fever, shortness of breath and headaches, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.





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