NC reports first case of Legionnaire’s disease not connected to fair

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – State health officials are reporting a new case of Legionnaire’s disease but this is the first case of someone who did not attend the NC Mountain Fair – the center of the outbreak.

The person attended the Quilt Show held at the Western North Carolina Ag Center Sept. 27–29. 

The WNC Fair was held at the same location as the Quilt Show. The fair ended September 15.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services did not release any identifying information about the patient.

DHHS believes the current outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease is tied to a hot tub display at the WNC Fair. Health officials began to investigate after an increased number of Legionnaire’s cases were reported in Henderson and Buncombe counties Sept. 23.

There are currently 141 confirmed cases of the disease in North Carolina.

Three deaths are being blamed on the disease.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be very similar to the flu or other respiratory infections that are common at this time of year. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms to determine whether testing or treatment for any of these infections might be needed. 

Legionella bacteria was found in one of six samples taken from the Davis Event Center at the WNC Ag Center, DHHS said.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recommended and supervised an extensive industrial cleaning of the WNC Ag Center water system. Legionella was not found in follow-up testing of samples collected on Oct. 4 and 7. 

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