Two individuals who recently stayed at a Las Vegas resort have, according to the Southern Nevada Health District, contracted Legionnaires’ disease.
According to the Health District, the two guests stayed separately at the Caesars Entertainment-owned and operated Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, in March and April, local news media reports.
KSNV NBC Las Vegas reports that the Health District is being assisted by the Rio Hotel and Casino in the ongoing investigation and is providing past and current guests information.
Along with the initial illness report, the property has also reportedly made arrangements for the hotel’s water system to be environmentally tested. The presence of the Legionella bacteria was indicated in facility testing results and the remediation response of chlorine disinfection was reportedly initiated by the property.
Sampling of the water system at the property was conducted by the Health District following the reports of the two cases and a Legionella bacterium was identified throughout the system, according to KSNV. The Health District is reportedly working with the Rio Hotel & Casino for remediation and follow-up sampling in order to ensure their efforts are effective.
Richard Broome, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, at the Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment issued a statement to that effect. Broome added, “Out of an abundance of caution, we are relocating guests from rooms where remediation actions are being undertaken,” as reported by the news agency.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by Legionella bacteria, which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella is naturally occurring in freshwaters environments such as lakes and streams, however, if it grows and spreads in man-made water systems, such as heating and cooling systems (AC) for large buildings, showers and faucets, and large plumbing systems, it can become a health issue. Once the bacteria grows and spreads throughout a building’s water system, the contaminated water spread in droplets that are small enough to be breathed in by people, which can lead to Legionnaires’ disease.
According to the CDC, the majority of healthy people who are exposed to Legionella do not get sick. Individuals who have an increased risk of becoming ill include current or former smokers, people 50 years and older, those with chronic lung disease, people with cancer, those with weakened immune systems or people who take drugs that weaken the immune system, e.g, surgery or chemo; and individuals with illnesses such as liver failure, diabetes, or kidney failure.
According to the report, if symptoms develop within 14 days of a guest’s stay at the property, they should seek medical attention. If you have questions the Health District’s Helpline can be reached at 702-759-0999, weekdays from 9am to 5pm.