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One dead and 11 hospitalized by Legionnaires' disease outbreak in California

One person has died and 11 have been hospitalized after contracting Legionnaires’ disease linked to a cooling tower on the roof of a $400-a-night hotel in Napa Valley, California.

Health officials said three patients are still being treated, one of whom is on a ventilator. They are all aged between 58 and 80 and had underlying conditions that put them at higher risk for serious illness.

They likely became infected after breathing air containing droplets contaminated with bacteria that cause the disease. A cooling tower at Embassy Suites by Hilton downtown hotel has been contaminated and shut down. Officials say it’s likely another source will be discovered.

None of the patients were guests at the hotel, but neighbors were, with officials saying the contaminated droplets likely spread as far as a mile from the hotel.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection that kills about 10 percent of the people it infects. Sufferers face flu-like symptoms, including cough, fever, and headache, which lead to pneumonia in severe cases. Cases have increased in the US in recent years, and this outbreak followed another in the Bronx, New York.

Health officials said 11 patients with the disease were hospitalized, and one later died. They likely became infected after breathing air laden with droplets contaminated with bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease. A cooling tower on the roof of Embassy Suites by Hilton in Napa Valley, California (pictured) was found to be infected with the bacteria. It has been shut down, but health officials warn the disease could spread as far as a mile from here

Embassy Suites by Hilton is a luxury hotel in downtown Napa that costs about $400 per night.  It has an indoor and outdoor pool and says it is within 10 minutes of local wineries

Embassy Suites by Hilton is a luxury hotel in downtown Napa that costs about $400 per night. It has an indoor and outdoor pool and says it is within 10 minutes of local wineries

Guests can also enjoy eight acres of gardens (pictured).  None of the people hospitalized during the outbreak had stayed at the hotel, health officials said

Guests can also enjoy eight acres of gardens (pictured). None of the people hospitalized during the outbreak had stayed at the hotel, health officials said

Homes up to a mile from the hotel may have been exposed to Legionnaires' disease, local health officials said

Homes up to a mile from the hotel may have been exposed to Legionnaires’ disease, local health officials said

Health officials revealed the cases in a release on Wednesday, urging locals to watch out for the disease. A total of 12 patients were hospitalized, one of whom died of the disease.

Patients tested positive between July 11 and 27, but there are fears more could be discovered as it could take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear.

They all lived in Napa, except for one who was from Calistoga, California – 42 miles away – but who had recently visited the city.

WHAT IS LEGION DISEASE?

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria.

The first symptoms are a high fever, muscle aches and chills.

Once the bacteria infects a person’s lungs, they may also experience a persistent cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Legionnaires’ disease is usually caught by inhaling small droplets of contaminated water.

It is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person.

Legionella bacteria are commonly found in water, including lakes and rivers, although they often occur in harmless low numbers.

However, the bacteria can multiply if they make their way into artificial water supplies, including air conditioning systems.

Legionnaires’ disease is often treated with a course of antibiotics.

The condition can be particularly serious in people with pre-existing health conditions.

Most people make a full recovery, but in some cases it can lead to further life-threatening complications.

The disease can cause your lungs and kidneys to stop working properly.

Another complication is septic shock, which results from a blood infection that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure.

About 10 percent of otherwise healthy people who contract Legionnaires’ Disease will die from problems resulting from the condition.

Testing is still underway to find other sources of the bacteria — scientifically called Legionella — that cause the disease.

dr. County health official Karen Relucio said: “Finding Legionella in one water sample is an important piece of the puzzle.

“But we must continue to investigate other cooling towers and water sources in the outbreak area, as it is common to find more than one source.”

She added that the team had “worked” with Embassy Suites to “remediate” the source of the exposure.

A spokeswoman for the hotel told DailyMail.com that they are “continuing to cooperate fully and closely” with local health officials.

“When we heard of their concerns, we immediately contacted our consultant and water treatment company to make sure we were following health department guidelines and starting remediation,” they said.

‘The safety and well-being of our guests and team members is our top priority, and [the hotel] continues to make every effort to ensure that all practices and standards are in accordance with strict safety and security regulations.”

The four-star hotel listed on Trip Advisor is equipped with both an indoor and an outdoor pool and says it is “within 10 minutes of numerous local wineries.”

The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ Disease are often found in small numbers in bodies of water, including lakes and rivers.

But when it gets into hot water — such as that from air conditioning units — it can multiply quickly, posing a health risk.

Patients are often treated with a course of antibiotics and most make a full recovery.

However, it is particularly severe in people with underlying conditions, with the World Health Organization estimating that up to 80 percent of immunocompromised patients who become infected die from the disease.

In severe cases, Legionnaires’ disease can cause septic shock — when a blood infection causes the pressure to drop suddenly.

It can also cause pneumonia, which makes it difficult for the lungs to function normally.

About 10,000 Americans are infected with Legionnaires’ Disease each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2018.

But it estimates that the number of cases is now increasing and could be up to three times higher each year.

In June, two people in the Bronx, New York, died of the bacterial infection after two dozen cases were discovered.

Both fatalities were over 50 years old and had underlying conditions that put them at risk of serious illness.

The patients came from the Highbridge neighborhood, which is adjacent to the city’s iconic Yankee Stadium.

Four cooling towers tested positive for the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease, the likely source of the outbreak. Each was disinfected.

It was not clear whether they were on public or residential buildings.

It was the second outbreak in New York this year, after eight cases and another person died from the disease in May.

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