One dead, 11 sickened by Legionnaires’ disease in California’s Napa County

Three people remained hospitalized in the outbreak, which began July 11, Napa County’s health department said.

The Legionella bacteria that causes it has been detected in the cooling  tower of the Embassy Suites Napa Valley in the city of Napa...

the county health department said, but an investigation is ongoing and other sources are being tested.

None of the 12 who were sickened in the outbreak that began July 11 stayed at the hotel and they were not employees...

Napa County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Relucio said at a Wednesday news conference.

All 12 are residents of Napa County and not tourists, she said, and in  many of the cases they live in the area where the hotel is.

Three people remained hospitalized Wednesday, and one of those patients  was on a ventilator, Relucio said. The other eight recovered.

The Legionella bacteria lives in water, but can spread when that water is aerosolized.

“If a cooling tower is contaminated with the bacteria, it can disseminate for up to a mile,” Relucio said.

That cooling tower has been taken offline, “which mitigates any ongoing risk to public health,” the health department said.

In an outbreak area, it’s also common to find more than one source, according to the department.

Legionnaires’ disease causes severe pneumonia. The person who died was  described as being over 50 years old and with risk factors for severe  disease.