Hampton Beach Resort Says It Was Targeted Unfairly Over Legionnaires'

The Hampton Beach resort New Hampshire said was at the center of this summer's deadly Legionnaires outbreak is now saying it is being unfairly targeted.

You can see the fluorescent vacancy sign at the Sands Resort on Ashworth Avenue. The condo complex has lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue, and now one of the owners is speaking up against state health officials.

"It's a community-wide event, it's not just the Sands," said Tom Saab in a press conference on Wednesday.

He says as part owner of the Sands Resort, it's time to protect his business.

"We had to refund about 20 units canceled for Seafood Festival, so we've lost a substantial amount of money," Saab said.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services identified the Sands as one of the main sources of the Legionnaires' outbreak after its hot tub tested positive for legionella bacteria.

DHHS says not all of the 19 people who got sick reported staying at the Sands, and because of that, Saab is frustrated that state health officials haven't tested more sites in the area.

"We sort of got thrown under the bus a little bit, if you know what I mean," Saab said.

Saab says the resort has spent more than $20,000 to sterilize its water system. He says all lab results have come back clean and still DHHS won't allow him to remove these notices that he says are impacting business.

"We have proven and they have proven and the CDC has proven that our water system is free and clear," Saab insisted.

In a statement, DHHS Spokesperson Jake Leon said, in part, "Water samples taken from the Sands Resort hot tub grew the same strain of Legionella bacteria that was isolated from a patient diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease and who reported staying at the Sands Resort," DHHS spokesperson Jake Leon said in a statement. "Testing by the CDC has not revealed any other source for the disease outbreak and no new cases have been identified in Hampton since the Sands' hot tub was closed."

Saab told NBC10 Boston that hot tub would never be used again.

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