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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017 3 months ago

Ocoee gym examined after 3 contract Legionnaires' disease

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The Florida Department of Health is examining LA Fitness Ocoee on Silver Star Road for possible association with the disease.
by: Danielle Hendrix Staff Writer

OCOEE  An Ocoee gym is being examined by the Florida Department of Health this week due to concerns of three recent guests developing Legionnaires’ disease.

LA Fitness on Silver Star Road sent out an email to its guests Tuesday, April 18, notifying them of the incident. According to the email, the DOH in Orange County contacted LA Fitness Ocoee management regarding recent guests of the gym developing Legionnaires’ disease.

Although the DOH has not yet concluded whether those affected contracted the disease from the gym, LA Fitness said it wanted its members to know of the possible association.

“LA Fitness Ocoee always puts its guests first, so although it has not been conclusively shown through testing, we want you to be aware of this possible association and provide you with some information about Legionnaires’ disease so you are informed,” the email stated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by the legionella bacteria. It can subsequently cause Legionnaires’ disease — a type of pneumonia — as well as Pontiac fever, which is similar to a mild case of the flu.

The bacteria is commonly found in freshwater environments, the CDC said, and can grow and spread in water systems such as showers and faucets, hot tubs, decorative fountains, hot water tanks and large plumbing systems. People can contract Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria.

Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches and typically begin two to 10 days after exposure, the CDC said. It can usually be treated with antibiotics.

According to the CDC, people generally do not spread Legionnaires’ disease, although it is possible in rare cases. Those most at risk include current or former smokers, people with a chronic lung disease or weak immune systems and people age 50 years or older.

“If you experience symptoms within 14 days of exposure to aerosolized water at LA Fitness Ocoee (such as showering or using the spa) please consult with your health care provider about possible diagnosis, testing and treatment,” the email stated.

Those with questions or concerns about the situation are asked to call DOH Orange County at (407) 858-1420.

 

Contact Danielle Hendrix at dhendrix@orangeobserver.com.

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