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3 cases of Legionnaires’ disease investigated at Las Vegas hotels

Updated August 24, 2023 - 5:46 pm

The Southern Nevada Health District is investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease with guests who stayed at two hotels in Las Vegas.

Two people who tested positive stayed at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino within the last 12 months, and one person tested positive after staying at The Orleans Hotel & Casino according to a health district news release shared on Thursday.

Environmental samples from Caesars Palace did test positive for Legionella bacteria. However, the most recent environmental testing at the casino did not detect the bacteria.

At The Orleans, environmental samples did test positive for the bacteria after the guest got the disease after staying at the hotel, the health district said.

Earlier this year, two other confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported from guests who stayed at The Orleans in December and January, and the hotel’s water system had a remediation that included flushing the water system and increasing chlorine levels, the Review-Journal reported in March.

The health district had found the bacteria in showers and sinks of the rooms where the two guests stayed, senior environmental health specialist Rob Cole told the Review-Journal.

Following the remediation, no bacteria was detected in the hotel’s water system, the health district said.

Caesars Entertainment said in a statement that the company is cooperating with health officials’ investigations.

“Caesars Palace maintains a robust safety program to minimize the potential for the Legionella bacteria to survive in the water systems at its property that meet or exceed industry standards,” it said in the statement. “In addition, we immediately took further steps to remediate the presence of any trace amounts of Legionella bacteria relating to the two instances being investigated by the Southern Nevada Health District. We are confident in the integrity of our systems and the safety protocols we rigorously follow.”

Boyd Gaming echoed a similar statement.

“The health and safety of our guests are extremely important to us, and we have extensive measures in place to minimize risk to our guests,” the company said in a statement. “We were recently notified by the Southern Nevada Health District that it is investigating a case of Legionnaire’s Disease reported by a guest who stayed at the Orleans. Upon testing, legionella was not detected in the guest’s room. However, we will continue to work closely with the Health District in their investigation.”

The disease is contracted by inhaling water droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria. Symptoms of the bacteria include cough, shortness of breath, fever, headaches and muscle aches for up to two weeks after exposure.

People who are 50 years old or older, are current or former smokers, have a chronic lung disease, weakened immune system, take drugs that weaken their immune system, have diabetes, or have kidney or liver failure are at an increased risk of getting sick.

The health district said guests who stayed at Caesars Palace or The Orleans more than two weeks ago who have not developed symptoms are not at risk for disease, but people who have developed symptoms within 14 days of their stay should seek medical attention.

Guests who stayed at The Orleans back to Aug. 1 and experienced symptoms up to 14 days after their stay, and guests who stayed at Caesars Palace between Aug. 1-23 and experienced symptoms up to 14 days after their stay can report that they have the disease to the health district on a survey on their website at survey.alchemer.com/s3/7488633/e70472c1f429.

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