Legionnaires' disease reported at Rio, guests relocated - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Legionnaires' disease reported at Rio, guests relocated

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The Southern Nevada Health District investigated two cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in guests who stayed separately at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in March and April.

Hotel staff helped with the investigation, providing the health district to inform past and current guests, according to SNHD. Rio staff also “arranged for environmental testing of its water system.”

Test results found a presence of the Legionella bacteria, and staff used chlorine for disinfection, SNHD said.

After reports of a second case, the health district sampled the water system and found Legionella throughout the property’s water. The Rio and the health district said they’re working together to make sure efforts to get rid of the bacteria are effective, according to SNHD.

The health district said Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by “inhaling aerosol droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria. Sources of the aerosol can include showers, hot tubs, faucets, cooling towers, misters, and decorative fountains.”

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria, SNHD said. “Most people exposed to Legionella will not get sick; however, it can cause severe illness and sometimes result in death. Generally, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people. Legionnaires’ disease symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.”

“Symptoms will usually begin within two to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. However, people should watch for symptoms for about two weeks after exposure. Guests who stayed at the Rio more than two weeks ago and have not developed symptoms are not at risk for disease. If guests of the property develop symptoms with 14 days of their stay, they should seek medical attention,” SNHD said in a release.

Richard Broome, EVP of Public Affairs & Corporate Communications for Caesars Entertainment released a statement on the situation.

“Test results on the water at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino indicated the presence of the legionella bacteria. The company is working closely with the Southern Nevada Health District and taking aggressive remediation actions to ensure the safety of Rio's water. Out of an abundance of caution, we are relocating guests from rooms where remediation actions are being undertaken.”

According to SNHD, people who are at increased risk of getting sick include:

  • People 50 years or older
  • Current or former smokers
  • People with chronic lung disease
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who take drugs that can weaken their immune systems (after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
  • People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure

More information on Legionnaire’s disease is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html. 

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