NAPA COUNTY, Calif. -- An outbreak in Napa County of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease has been traced to two more sites, the county said Thursday.
Legionella is a bacteria that can cause illness when inhaled and can be found in aerosolized water such as from fountains, hot tubs and air conditioning units in large buildings.
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Thirteen people have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' that they contracted in Napa County and one person has died from it since July 11. Currently, 10 people have recovered from the ailment and two remain in the hospital, the county said.
On Aug. 3, the county announced that a cooling tower in the Embassy Suites Napa Valley hotel was to blame for some of the outbreak. Now the county discovered "high levels" of the bacteria in a decorative pond at the Embassy Suites as well. The county has also identified the cooling tower in the county Hall of Justice in the city of Napa as a hot spot.
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As of Thursday, cleaning and disinfection of the Hall of Justice has been completed, the county said. The building is now believed to pose "little risk" for the presence of the bacteria, but the county is going to continue monitoring the situation and will send samples to an independent laboratory for testing. Results are expected in seven to 14 days.
Dr. Karen Relucio from the county health department also said that the county has taken proactive steps to analyze cooling towers in other buildings.
Legionnaires' disease cannot be transmitted person to person and is contracted by inhaling small droplets of water that contain the bacteria. Symptoms include cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. If caught early enough, health officials say that it can be treated with antibiotics.
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