Since last spring, at least three guests at the Luxor in Las Vegas have contracted Legionnaires’ disease, including a guest that recently died, according to Nevada health officials.
In the other two cases – which occurred in spring 2011- the disease was not fatal, officials said. Water samples taken at the time failed to detect bacteria and both patients eventually recovered. The third case, which resulted in the death of the resort's guest, was reported in January and water samples were again taken and this time the sample tested positive for the bacteria. It is unknown at this time if other guests have contracted the disease.
Media reports indicate the Luxor took steps to treat the water in the room where the deceased guested stayed within 24 hours of receiving notice. The hotel has posted information and has a hotline that guests can call.
The bacteria may grow in shower heads or other water fixtures in hotel rooms that haven’t been used in a while, causing the water to not circulate regularly. “There’s nothing you, as a guest, can do to prevent it,” says Brian Labus, senior epidemiologist at the health district.
In a statement released by Luxor, it claims that “Under the guidance and supervision of the Health District, Luxor has already completed remediation efforts of the affected areas of the hotel water system. In an abundance of caution, Luxor is voluntarily extending remediation efforts throughout the rest of the hotel.” Read the full statement. It is unknown whether the remediation efforts have been completely successful, or if the resort's guests are still at risk.
About Legionnaires’ disease
Each year in the United States, an estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, due to some infections going undiagnosed or not reported, that number may be higher.
Legionnaires' disease is a form of lung infection caused by the bacterium Legionella pheumophia. Legionella is naturally occurring and is found in most water supplies. A person becomes contaminated when they breathe in mist or vapor that contains the bacteria. Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease usually begin within two weeks of being exposed to the bacteria.
Should a guest or former guest of the resort experience any of the above symptoms, medical treatment should be sought immediately.
Our firm, Nettles Law Firm, currently has a case pending against Luxor’s sister property, the Aria Resort, in which the plaintiffs have alleged the defendants exposed them to legionella bacteria which caused them to become ill.