MDH Investigating Cases Of Legionnaires’ Disease In Hopkins

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating a cluster of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease involving people in Hopkins.

Five people who either live or work in Hopkins – all older than 50 years old — became sick with the disease between Aug. 4 and Sept. 1. Three are still hospitalized, while two have been treated and released.

People who contract Legionnaires’, which is spread by inhaling fine mist from infected water, typically come into contact with the Legionella bacteria from cooling misters, decorative plumbing systems or fountains and large, industrial air-conditioning units.

Hopkins city officials are reassuring residents that the city’s water is safe. The disease is not spread from person to person, nor is it contracted from drinking water. And most people who come into contact with the Legionella bacteria do not develop Legionnaires’ disease.

People at an increased risk for contracting Legionnaires’ disease:

  • Those older than 50
  • Smokers
  • Those with weakened immune systems
  • Those with chronic lung disease

Initial symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing

Symptoms that typically follow:

  • Fever between 102-105 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pneumonia
  • Abdominal pain and diarrhea

There have been more than 60 cases of the disease in Minnesota so far in 2016.

Click here for more information on Legionnaires’ disease.

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