5 cases of legionnaires disease confirmed in Hampton, NH

Health

Health officials have identified five cases of legionnaires disease connected to a half-mile stretch of road in New Hampshire. What they don’t know yet is exactly how the people were infected. 

“I assure you that our staff has been working day and night since we’ve identified the cluster.” Lisa Morris, NH Division of Public Health

Public health officials are still working to determine what caused 5 people to be diagnosed with legionnaires disease.

Each of them spending some time in Hampton on Ashworth Avenue between Island Path and H Street. 

Business owners within that area are concerned their customers are under the impression it is not safe to travel to Hampton during one of their busiest times of year.

“They think if they come to Hampton Beach, they’re going to get legionnaires disease, they’re going to die. That’s what I’m getting in phone calls.” Steven Chasse, Hotel owner

Health officials reiterated the message already reported: That they’re releasing this information so that people with weak or compromised immune systems can make an informed decision about where they travel.

The bacterial pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics and can only be contracted by inhaling contaminated water droplets that can be spread in a number of ways including hot tubs, and cooling towers.

“There’s no health risk if someone touches water that has this bacteria, drinks water with this bacteria. This is not an infection that can be spread from person to person.” Dr. Benjamin Chan, Epidemiologist

There have been no deaths reported with this cluster. So far only 3 people needed to be hospitalized, 
they have been treated and released.

New Hampshire has averaged about 32 cases of legionnaires disease per year over the past five years. It’s been ten years, though, since multiple infections have been reported in a cluster.

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