Investigators with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) determined four individuals were infected with Legionella bacteria after visiting the Crookston Inn and Convention Center in northwest Minnesota.
Legionella bacteria causes what is known as Legionnaires’ Disease, a form of pneumonia. It is contracted through bacteria in the air or mist, rather than from person-to-person. An example would be plumbing systems, moisture in air ducts and hot tubs.
The four identified victims were patrons of the facility between January 22 and January 27, but did not stay overnight in the hotel. They either dined in or attended an event on the hotel grounds.
Crookston Inn immediately notified anyone that visited between January 14 and February 13 they may have been exposed.
The source of the outbreak is still currently under investigation, but it is likely the pool or spa areas were contaminated. The spa has since been closed off as testing is being performed. MDH is working with the hotel on how to properly disinfect and clean the potentially contaminated areas.
People typically present symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease between 2 to 10 days after exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches
Legionnaires’ Disease can be treated with antibiotics but in rare cases, may be fatal. The CDC estimates 1 in 10 people die after being exposed to it.
Those at the highest risk are:
- People 50 years or older
- Current or former smokers
- Those with a chronic lung disease (like COPD or emphysema)
- People with weak immune systems or who take drugs that weaken the immune
- system (like after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
- People with cancer
- People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure
Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division at MDH, indicated that anyone who was at the hotel and came down with an undiagnosed case of pneumonia should seek medical attention.
“If you spent time at the hotel between Jan. 14 and Feb. 13 and are ill with undiagnosed pneumonia or you develop symptoms in the two weeks following your visit, please see a health care provider to be evaluated for possible Legionnaire’s disease.”
In 2018, Minnesota had more than 150 reported cases of Legionnaires’ Disease.
Do I have a Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuit?
The lawyers at Johnson & Becker are currently accepting Legionnaires’ disease induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with a Legionella infection, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit. Our lawyers respond promptly to all inquiries and would be honored to speak with you.