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MDH Investigating 2 Cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Albert Lea

23 July 2018

Health officials are investigating reports of two cases of Legionnaires' disease that guests of a Laughlin hotel-casino reported after staying at the property in November and March.

The first resident's symptoms began in early June; the second's symptoms were reported to the Health Department Thursday, the agency said in a statement Friday. Those with symptoms should call their doctor and ask about testing for Legionnaires' disease. In addition, it is typified by headache, fever, body aches and occasionally abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Legionella bacteria are widely distributed, and normally grow best in warm water environments. They have been found in creeks and ponds, water taps (primarily hot water taps), hot water tanks, cooling towers and evaporative condensers, whirlpool spas, and decorative fountains. It doesn't generally spread from person to person, and most healthy people exposed to the bacteria do not get sick. Groups at highest risk for Legionnaires' disease include people who are middle-aged or older, especially cigarette smokers, people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems and people who take medicines that weaken their immune systems (immunosuppressive drugs).

MDH Investigating 2 Cases of Legionnaires' Disease in Albert Lea