New Hampshire Points to Hampton Resort in Legionnaires’ Outbreak

The Sands Resort issued a statement Monday afternoon stating that the CDC conducted several water tests on Aug. 29, finding that there was DNA specific to legionella bacteria in three of four units tested. However, these tests cannot determine if the bacteria is dead or alive, the resort said.

The statement also said they do not believe the CDC let the water run long enough when it was testing the water's temperature.

The CDC tests also showed legionella bacteria in the outdoor, cold water shower and another cold water spicket.

"Everyone seems slightly confused because legionella bacteria are not supposed to survive cold water therefore we thought the results of their tests could possibly be wrong."

The statement said that the resort has been fully cooperative with authorities and that the fact that nine people have contracted Legionnaires Disease have visited the Sands, "it does not prove in any way that they got the illness due to their stay at the Sands."

The state of New Hampshire has named the Sands Resort in Hampton as a source of the bacteria behind Legionnaires' disease, following a recent local outbreak.

On Friday, the state government confirmed two additional cases, bringing the total number of infected people in the Hampton area to 14. One person has died so far from it.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice Sunday to the Sands Resort, located at 32 Ashworth Avenue, after initial tests conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered the bacteria in multiple parts of the resort's water system, including its hot tub.

The notice did not label Sands Resort as the only source of the outbreak or specifically mention the 14 cases. Earlier reports pointed to both the Sands Resort and the Harris Sea Ranch Motel as potential sources. Sunday's report serves as confirmation for Sands Resort.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia.

“Early test results from the CDC indicate the presence of the Legionella bacteria in several environmental samples taken from the facility’s water system," said Commissioner I have issued this order to ensure the health of guests and visitors of the establishment, as well as the health of Hampton residents and visitors,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. “The Sands Resort will immediately notify current and future guests of the Legionella outbreak and take steps to remediate the premise plumbing system in order to mitigate the risk to the public’s health.”

The CDC may have additional test results from the Sands Resort ready in the next few weeks.

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