February 1, 2012

Legionnaires’ Disease Kills Luxor Guest, AVN Expo Attendees May Have Been Exposed

Health, News 1 Comment

Legionnaires' at the Luxor

We just got a curious e-mail from Tod Hunter, an adult industry reporter and blogger, saying there have been “reports of Legionnaires’ Disease” at the Luxor in Las Vegas and that people attending AVN’s Adult Entertainment Expo may have been exposed. Hunter warns:

The incubation period for the disease is between 10 days and two weeks, so anyone exposed during AVN Adult Entertainment Expo would be feeling the effects now. And maybe thinking they’re getting the traditional post-show January cold.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Legionnaires’ symptoms include headache, muscle pain, chills, and fevers that run 104F or higher. By the second or third day, symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion or spaciness, and gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

A milder form of this disease is Pontiac fever, which usually doesn’t develop beyond primary symptoms and which clears within two to five days. Most healthy people can recover from the disease with antibiotic treatment, but death can occur in five to 30 percent of cases, if symptoms progress and the disease is left untreated, warns the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There has already been one death associated with this recent outbreak at the Luxor. The Las Vegas Review-Journal writes:

Bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease were found in water samples taken earlier this month at the Luxor after a former guest died of the form of pneumonia, officials with the Southern Nevada Health District said Monday.

[ ... ] Testing of the water done after the CDC reported the death to the health district on Jan. 6 found conclusively that the Legionella bacteria were present in the water system, a preliminary investigative report issued by the health district revealed. The incubation period for the disease is between 10 days and two weeks, [senior epidemiologist with the health district, Brian] Labus said.

Early last year, there was a Legionnaires’ outbreak among guests who had attended an event at the Playboy Mansion to benefit Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vax Generation Rescue Autism Foundation. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least 170 fell ill after being exposed to a whirlpool spa on the Holmby Hills mansion grounds.

Photo from AVNs used in the header collage by Michael Dorausch.

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