Families are demanding answers after two deaths linked to a hot tub display at last month's North Carolina Mountain State Fair.
The state Division of Public Health was alerted to a sudden spike in Legionnaire's disease cases in Buncombe and Henderson counties about a week after the fair ended.
Residents in "multiple states and North Carolina counties" have been affected, officials said.
There were no other significant sources of aerosolized water - small droplets of water or mist that can be inhaled - at the event center, and no other ongoing potential sources of exposure identified, the health department said.
The outbreak is linked to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, which took place from September 6-15 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher.
Legionella Pneumophila Bacteria, which most commonly causes Legionnaires' disease. Officials say testing found Legionella bacteria in water samples from the hot tub display.
"Finding Legionella in one water sample is an important piece of the puzzle, but it does not tell us how so many people were exposed at this event", said Dr. Moore. Very little aerosolized water is created from hand washing sinks, toilets and other now operating water sources at the Agricultural Center, meaning the risk of exposure to Legionella is low.
Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia.
The disease is treatable with antibiotics and those who are sickened typically recover in full. Symptoms of Legionnaires Disease include a cough, shortness of breath, high fever, headaches, as well as possible muscle pains.
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