'Cluster' of Legionnaires' disease cases reported in B.C.: health authorities

Two additional cases of Legionnaire's disease have been confirmed in the outbreak in Hampton, NH.

The Health Department is scheduled to inspect the internal plumbing supply in the affected building, but officials say they do not consider this an outbreak or to be related to cooling towers at this time.

Three people in Surrey, B.C. have been hospitalized with Legionnaires' Disease, a severe form of pneumonia that develops after being infected by the Legionella bacteria.

Fraser Health typically sees about six cases per year of Legionnaires' Disease.

New Hampshire health officials issued an order to the Sands Resort in Hampton to take immediate steps to remediate the Legionella bacteria at the resort and notify guests of the bacteria.

People who do contract it can be treated with antibiotics.

In a release, Fraser Health said it is investigating the source of the bacteria.

Symptoms, which usually show up two to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria, include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Others have died from complications of the disease. The Public Health Service of Canada points out it can not be transmitted between people.

Most healthy people don't get sick from the bacteria, but smokers, the elderly and those with pre-existing lung conditions or compromised immune systems are at higher risk. Those with symptoms should call their doctor and ask about testing for Legionnaires' disease.

Vanessa Coleman