Hotel told to fix Legionella bacteria problem, notify guests

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Legionnaire disease has been causing quite havoc in New Hampshire's Hampton, and a fifth case of the outbreak was reported on Monday.

The order, signed by New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers noted that nine people who stayed at the property since July have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

Patients can contract Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia, when they breathe in small, airborne droplets of water that contain the bacteria, which can grow in a building's water system.

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The history surrounding Legionnaires' is well known, which might explain why many fear even the mention of the disease.

One of those 12 Hampton victims, an elderly adult, died due to complications related to the disease.

Another disease which has made its presence felt for quite some time in the U.S. is the one caused due to West Nile virus, which has resulted in around a dozen communities in Boston-area being listed as high-risk, after a fourth-case of the virus was discovered.

Bagley said this particular bacterial infection can not be passed from person-to-person.

As a precaution, the DPHS has closed the hot tub spas at the Sands Hotel and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel, though they pointed out the hot tubs no longer present a potential risk to the public and both hotels remain open. People who take drugs that weaken their immune system, such as chemotherapy, or suffer from underlying illnesses like diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure, are also at a greater risk.

The bacteria is commonly found in freshwater, groundwater and soil. Most healthy individuals do no become infected after exposure. The symptoms show 2 to 10 days after the bacteria exposure.

Resident can still use and drink their water, but those with a higher risk of getting the disease are advised to take extra steps. The disease is not contracted through swimming or drinking water.