Health officials: Luxor guests had Legionnaires'
LAS VEGAS - January 30, 2012 (WPVI) -- Health officials in Las Vegas said Monday that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease was found in water samples at the Luxor hotel-casino this month after a guest died of the form of pneumonia.
The Southern Nevada Health District said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance program reported three cases in the past year of Luxor guests being diagnosed with the disease caused by Legionella bacteria.
The Las Vegas Strip resort's water was tested after the first two cases were reported during the spring of last year, but no Legionella bacteria was detected, district officials said. Those guests recovered.
Officials say the Luxor, owned by MGM Resorts International, immediately began a remediation process once the bacteria was found.
MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher said treatment procedures include superheating and super-chlorination of the water system.
"We are confident in the integrity of our systems and the safety protocols we follow at all our hotels. Guest and employee safety is always a top priority at our company," Absher said. "Even before last summer, MGM Resorts led the industry with aggressive and stringent programs to control Legionella issues common to all large buildings."
Absher said the company's resorts regularly test for Legionella and treat water systems preventatively, before bacteria are detected.
The new cases come as the company is already facing a civil lawsuit from guests who said they were infected with Legionella at the Aria Resort & Casino, part of the CityCenter complex that is half-owned by MGM Resorts.
MGM Resorts notified guests that they might have been exposed to the bacteria between June 21 and July 4 after the district reported six cases of Legionnaires' disease in July. The district said those guests recovered after treatment.
Eight guests sued in August, seeking $337.5 million in damages from the resort and its builders. An MGM Resorts spokesman at the time denied negligence, saying hotel officials carefully communicated with its guests and reimbursed them fairly for legitimate medical expenses. The case is still pending in federal court in Las Vegas.
Legionella is commonly found in the environment in fresh water, the district said. Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease usually begin within two weeks of being exposed to the bacteria, the district said.
District officials said between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease each year, and can cause death in up to 30 percent of cases. Officials said as many as one-fourth of reported Legionnaires' cases are associated with travel, so health investigators typically ask for travel histories when they look into individual cases.
Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia.
las vegas, national/world
- Philly to Newark flight forced to make belly landing 53 min ago
- Cloudy And Cooler 3 min ago
- WATCH: Action News Online
- WATCH ABC is available in Philadelphia!
- Man found shot and killed in Wynnefield
- 2 injured in head-on crash along MLK Drive
- 1 winning Mega Millions ticket sold in New Jersey 38 min ago
- Police: Pa. woman served family poison laced burritos 34 min ago
- Wife hid murdered husband, prosecutors say
- Connecticut commuter trains collide; 60 hospitalized
- Driver, passenger hurt in Cheltenham Township crash
- Woman critically injured in Radnor Township house fire
- 3 sought for robbery of 15-year-old
- Dozens of home remedies right in your kitchen
- Philly to Newark flight forced to make...
53 min ago
- Cloudy And Cooler
3 min ago
More 6abc.com resources
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed VideoMost Viewed Photos