MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The number of confirmed cases in the Hopkins-associated outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has reached 17, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Three more cases were announced Thursday, all involving people who are older than 50 years old. All three are hospitalized.
MDH officials say all 17 cases involve people who live in, work in or have visited the city of Hopkins before the outbreak intervention began on Sept. 10.
One person has died from the disease. The people affected range in age from their 20s to their 90s.
Legionnaires’ disease is contracted from inhaling fine aerosol mist from water containing the Legionella bacteria, typically from things like large air conditioning units and decorative fountains. The disease cannot be contracted from drinking water.
Most people who come into contact with the bacteria do not develop the disease. People with weakened immune systems, smokers and those with certain health conditions are more susceptible to contracting Legionnaires’.
Initial symptoms include muscle aches, chills, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, coughing and loss of appetite. Symptoms that follow include abdominal pain, diarrhea, pneumonia and having a fever between 102 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit.