UPDATE: 7 cases of Legionnaires' disease connected to Rio

UPDATE NOV. 15: The Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed that there are 7 cases of Legionnaires' disease connected to the Rio, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 

ORIGINAL STORY

The Southern Nevada Health District is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in guests who stayed separately at the Rio hotel-casino in March and April.

The hotel is assisting in the investigation and taking steps to provide information to past and current guests of the property.

The Rio released a statement Friday afternoon.

“Test results on the water at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino indicated the presence of the legionella bacteria. The company is working closely with the Southern Nevada Health District and taking aggressive remediation actions to ensure the safety of Rio's water. Out of an abundance of caution, we are relocating guests from rooms where remediation actions are being undertaken.”
 
In response to the initial illness report, the property arranged for environmental testing of its water system. Facility testing results did indicate a presence of the Legionella bacteria, and the property initiated the appropriate remediation response of chlorine disinfection. Following reports of the additional case, the Health District conducted sampling of the water system and identified Legionella bacteria throughout the system.

The Health District said they're working with the Rio to conduct remediation and follow up sampling to ensure remediation efforts are effective.

A guest at the Luxor died in January 2012 of Legionnaires' disease while several others contracted the illness. At least six people contracted Legionnaire's at Aria in 2011.
 
Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling aerosol droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria. Sources of the aerosol can include showers, hot tubs, faucets, cooling towers, misters, and decorative fountains. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. Most people exposed to Legionella will not get sick; however, it can cause severe illness and sometimes result in death. Generally, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people. Legionnaires’ disease symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.
 
Symptoms will usually begin within 2 to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. However, people should watch for symptoms for about two weeks after exposure. Guests who stayed at the Rio more than two weeks ago and have not developed symptoms are not at risk for disease. If guests of the property develop symptoms with 14 days of their stay, they should seek medical attention.
 
People who are at increased risk of getting sick include:
 
· People 50 years or older
· Current or former smokers
· People with chronic lung disease
· People with weakened immune systems
· People who take drugs that can weaken their immune systems (after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
· People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure
 
Anyone with additional questions can contact the Health District’s Helpline at (702) 759-0999.

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