Concord, NH –The NH Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Town of Hampton are winding down their investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Hampton.
A total of 18 individuals have been confirmed to have Legionnaires’ disease associated with Ashworth Avenue and the surrounding area. There have not been any new individuals reported to DHHS with suspect or confirmed Legionnaires’ disease since the hot tubs at the Sands Resort and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel were shut down the last week in August.
Hampton Legionella Investigation Summary Report
|NUMBER OF CONFIRMED ILLNESSES||Total|
|Illness onset dates||6/10/18 – 8/26/2018|
The CDC has sent to DHHS the results of testing of the environmental samples taken from the Sands Resort and the Harris Sea Ranch. 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 Legionnaires’ disease and who reported staying at the Sands Resort.
This suggests the hot tub at the Sands Resort as a source of Legionnaires’ disease. Additionally, because early test results from multiple water and environmental samples at the Sands Resort showed Legionella contamination, the Sands Resort hired an environmental consultant to clean and monitor the facility’s water system. The Sands’ water system was cleaned the week of September 3rd, and the environmental consultant has collected new water samples that are being tested at an independent laboratory to make sure the Legionella bacteria at the facility have been eliminated.
The Legionnaires’ disease risk to the public is reduced while the hot tub is closed and the water system is undergoing remediation. The absence of any new individuals with Legionnaires’ disease since the closure of the hot tub suggests that the current health risk to the community is low.
All environmental and water test results from the Harris Sea Ranch Motel hot tub have returned negative for Legionella. 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 Harris Sea Ranch Motel cannot be completely ruled out as a potential source of Legionnaires’ disease. Not all people associated with this outbreak reported contact with the Sands Resort, but the environmental assessment and test results have not revealed any other source for the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.
According to the CDC, Legionella can be found naturally in fresh water and environmental sources. When introduced into a building’s water system, it can grow and spread in devices, such as hot water tanks, showerheads, and hot tubs that are not well maintained. This is why it is so important that building owners and managers take steps to reduce the risk of Legionella and keep the water in their buildings safe.
For more information on the Legionella outbreak, please visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/legionella.htm.