Florida gyms investigated for Legionnaires' disease

Henrietta Strickland
June 26, 2017

The spa and showers at two LA Fitness clubs in Florida are closed as health officials look into reports that four clients contracted Legionnaires' disease.

Legionnaires' disease is most typically spread by breathing in the air containing the bacteria or by accidentally aspirating water, causing water to go into the windpipe instead of the digestive tract. It is not transmitted person-to-person. Symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle aches and shortness of breath.

Investigation is being carried out at a police station in #East Harlem after traces of the Legionella bacteria, which causes the Legionnaires' disease was found. We have no reason to believe that this antigen was contracted at our facility.

The Florida Department of Health has advised both the fitness centers and the Clermont community of the steps necessary to eliminate the bacteria from their facilities.

"We urge residents in this area who believe they've been exposed to please seek treatment and testing from their medical provider as soon possible", Barreto said. "These lab tests take days, so we want to be pro-active". The district then tested the hotel's water and confirmed the presence of the Legionella bacteria, prompting chlorine disinfection of the building's pipes. Usually, she said, it is prominent in stagnant supplies.

The illness was reported at Watercrest Senior Living on San Jose Boulevard, north of Mandarin.

The bacteria was first recognized and subsequently gained notoriety in 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia among participants of the American Legion's convention in Philadelphia resulted in 29 deaths.

Officials with the health department in Lake County say Summit Greens resident should be vigilant for symptoms because Legionella has a two-week incubation period. For Legionnaires', pneumonia is the most common symptom, the Florida Department of Health states.

"It has not been conclusively shown at this point that the exposure to the disease took place at any of our facilities; however, DOH-Orange has recommended we conduct testing and take certain measures to remediate the facilities", said Jill Greuling, executive vice president of operations for Fitness International.

The health club sent notices to customers last week, warning them to watch for signs of Legionnaires' disease.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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