Legionella pneumophila bacteria, illustration.
Photo: ROYALTYSTOCKPHOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra
Photo: ROYALTYSTOCKPHOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Legionnaire’s disease bacteria reported at Gwinnett YMCA

Cases of the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease have been reported by multiple J.M. Tull Gwinnett YMCA attendees, the YMCA said.

The Gwinnett County Health Department informed the YMCA of multiple cases of Legionella on Monday, Nov. 6. After the notice, the YMCA immediately closed “potential areas of concern.” The bacteria thrives in warm water, especially water vapor from hot tubs and showers and other aerosolized water sources, like steam and mist.

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The YMCA has closed its pool, whirlpool, steam room, sauna and showers, and it has hired an outside company to purify the facility’s water. That process will begin Thursday evening. All other areas of the facility are open as usual.

Legionella can cause Legionnaire’s disease, a rare form of pneumonia. Symptoms of the disease, also called Legionellosis, may include coughing, shortness of breath, muscle pain, fever and appetite loss. Symptoms usually emerge between two and 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. 

People over the age of 50, smokers and those who have chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of contracting the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It cannot be passed from person to person.

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