Family, friends in shock after man dies from contracting Legionnaire's disease at Richmond spa

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Richmond man's death from Legionnaire's disease leaves family in shock
The family and friends of one Richmond man are still shock while they mourn his death from Legionnaire's disease contracted possibly from Zen Day Spa.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- The family and friends of one Richmond man are still shock while they mourn his loss after dying from Legionnaire's disease.

"My kids know him as Uncle," said Ian McPherson, referring to his life-long friend, Ron Oliver. "That is how close were were. We went to Lakeview Elementary together in Oakland. He got me my current job. He is a brother."

The Oliver family said he contracted the disease after spending five minutes in the hot tub at Zen Day Spa in Richmond. They say he went there on July 19 and died on Aug. 3.

RELATED: Man who died of Legionnaires' disease from Bay Area spa was celebrating birthday, official says

"It was rough. I cried," McPherson said.

Contra Costa Health Services are investigating the spa after several people showed symptoms of the disease. County Supervisor Joh Giola says the spa was operating illegally and is now closed indefinitely. Two people, including Oliver, died from the disease after going to the spa. County health officials are still waiting test results to confirm legionnaire's disease was at the spa. Supervisor Gioia says the county has contacted over 30 people who have visited the spa and some have shown symptoms.

"They did discover two more individuals had symptoms and are getting better," he said.

RELATED: Richmond spa shuts down after 2 customers die from Legionnaires' Disease, health officials say

The county is working on developing an app that would all people to report suspicious activity at spas.

"It will give the customers the ability to rate a hot tub at one of these facilities when they go in."

What McPherson will miss is the bond he had with Oliver.

"I could call him up and unload my problems anytime. He can call me up and unload his problems anytime," he said. "At the end of the conversation, I would be better. He would be better."

The Oliver family has set up a GoFundme fundraiser to help with the funeral expenses and caring for their children. To donate, visit here.

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