June 13, 2017 — An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has sickened two guests who stayed at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on separate trips in March and April 2017.
Tests on the hotel’s water system were ordered by health officials in Nevada after infections were reported. The tests were positive for Legionella, a water-borne bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.
The hotel is in the process of notifying current and past guests who may have been exposed to Legionella at the hotel or casino.
Mark Bergtholdt, Southern Nevada Health District’s Environmental Health Supervisor, said the hotel began using chlorine at high temperatures to disinfect the rooms and water systems on June 8, 2017.
Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection that spreads when people breathe in tiny droplets of water, mist, or vapor that contains Legionella bacteria. While most healthy people are not at risk, infections sometimes cause pneumonia, and 10% of cases are fatal.
Legionella is commonly found in fresh water. Outbreaks are commonly traced to man-made structures with complex water systems that are hard to disinfect — hotels, casinos, or hospitals, for example — as well as hotel showers, fountains, hot tubs, and swimming pools.
This is not the first Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Las Vegas. Six guests at the 4,000-room Aria Resort and Casino were infected with Legionella in June and July 2011. That same year, two guests got Legionnaires’ disease and one died after staying at The Luxor.
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