One person has died and 11 others, including three who remain hospitalized, were sickened in relation to the spread of Legionnaires' disease in Napa County, California, the Napa Health Department confirmed in a news release on Wednesday (August 3).
The department said a sample of Legionella bacteria was taken from a cooling tower at Embassy Suites Napa Valley amid its investigation alongside the California Department of Public Health and Centers for Prevention and Disease Control into the spread of the disease.
The Embassy Suites cooling tower has since been taken offline in an effort to mitigate any additional risk to the public as Napa County Public Health continues its ongoing investigation to identify other possible sources that may contain unsafe amounts of the bacteria.
“Our joint investigation team continues to work with Embassy Suites staff to remediate the source of exposure,” said Dr. Karen Relucio, Napa County Health Officer, via the news release. “Finding Legionella in one water sample is an important piece of the puzzle, but we must continue to investigate other cooling towers and water sources in the outbreak area, as it is common to find more than one source.”
The individual who died in relation to Legionnaires' disease was identified as a person over the age of 50 who had risk factors for the disease, which commonly include individuals in that age group, as well as cigarette smokers and people with chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems.
The department specified that none of the 12 individuals who were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease stayed or visited the Embassy Suites Napa Valley hotel.