Officials Report 12 Cases, Including 1 Death, in Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak at Hampton Beach - NBC Connecticut
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Officials Report 12 Cases, Including 1 Death, in Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak at Hampton Beach



    1 Dead From Legionnaires' After 12 Cases Confirmed

    Health officials are investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Hampton, New Hampshire.

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018)

    Officials in New Hampshire say there have been 12 confirmed cases, including one resulting in a death, of Legionnaires' disease near Hampton Beach.

    One elderly adult died from pneumonia associated with the disease, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services officials said Thursday.

    The outbreak has been tentatively traced to two hot tub spas at two resorts, The Sands Resort and Harris Sea Ranch Motel, according to officials.

    New Hampshire health officials and officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to identify the source of the bacteria, and said the majority of the cases are within the Ashworth Avenue area between Island Path and M Street in Hampton.

    The infections happened between early June and mid-August. The initial announcement of Legionnaires' disease traced to the Hampton Beach area came Aug. 24.

    "We got to get out," said Alan Cunningham, a guest at the Sands Resort. "I'm 72 years old, this is hitting too close to home. I don't want a chance on this."

    Cunningham says his conversation with a motel clerk didn't go well because he was told he won't get a refund.

    "He said, 'Oh, no, it's not a problem.' He said it's only located in the hot tub," said Cunningham, who checked in from New York Thursday. "I said 'We're not comfortable with this, we would like to move out and we'll find someplace else to stay. We just want a refund.'"

    Health officials are still working to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak, but the impacted hot tubs have been closed as a precaution.

    Hot tub spas are a known source of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's, officials said.

    "I don't know if I'm supposed to hug my friends," said Julia Martinelli, a resident in the area of the outbreak.

    Legionnaires' disease, a potentially serious bacterial pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria, can result in an infection after someone breaths in small drops of water that contains bacteria.

    Health officials say most people exposed to the Legionella bacteria won't get sick, but the bacteria does pose a higher risk to those who have a weakened immune system, those who take drugs that can weaken their immune system, current or former smokers, those who are 50 years old or older and people with underlying illnesses, such as diabetes, kidney or liver failure.

    "We'll be a little more careful," said Catherine Daoust Pichette, a tourist from Canada staying at the Harris Sea Ranch. "We'll still plan on having fun."

    Both motels remain open, and neither would comment about the situation.

    "My wife and I are here to enjoy ourselves, not put ourselves in jeopardy," said Cunningham. "And this is putting us in jeopardy right now."

    Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    [NATL] Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    A would-be robber armed with a knife had a surprise in store when an Alabama store clerk pulled out a machete in defense. The two's brief knife fight was caught on camera before the clerk runs out to damage the robber's car.

    According to police, suspect Seth Holcomb walked up to the counter to make a purchase. He leaves the store and then comes back in as if to make a second purchase. Then, he pulled out a knife at the counter. What he didn't expect was that the clerk would pull out a machete of his own.

    (Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019)

    Officials ask members of the public who have developed symptoms, which include coughing, shortness of breath, fever and headaches, to contact the state health department at 603-271-9461.