Skip to main content

Legionnaires cases up to 9; health investigation focuses on Hopkins

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Minnsota's Health Department is involved in some sleuthing as it tries to pinpoint the source of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak centered in Hopkins.

Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz told BringMeTheNews Thursday the number of confirmed cases has reached nine. Schultz says the people sickened by the respiratory infection range in age from their 20s to their 90s.

He says most of them have been treated at hospitals and some remain hospitalized.

Health officials said last week that five people who live or work in Hopkins, which is just west of Minneapolis, had confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease that were contracted between Aug. 4 and Sep. 1.

Schultz says the Health Department expects to find more cases, noting the disease has a relatively long incubation period of up to 10 days.

It's spread by airborne water

The bacteria that spread Legionnaires' disease live in water but you don't get infected by drinking. It's a respiratory infection so it's spread by breathing in water spray. The Health Department has lots of background on the disease here.

When there's an outbreak, the likely sources include the cooling towers of big buildings, misters, and decorative fountains.

FOX 9 and the Star Tribune say that's why health investigators in Hopkins have been visiting the fountain at Cargill's office building as well as a SuperValu warehouse and a plastics plant called Thermotech.

The Health Department's Schultz says businesses in the area have agreed to flush their water systems with chlorine to get rid of bacteria. He says there could be more than one source of the current outbreak and it's possible we may never learn what spread the bacteria.

https://twitter.com/MicrobioSoc/status/776375438847377408

Symptoms

Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia so it brings on most of the same symptoms, the Health Department says.

Those include fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, mental confusion, diarrhea, and vomiting.

It can be treated with antibiotics. The CDC says about 1 in 10 patients with Legionnaires' disease will die from complications of the illness.

Next Up

money hundred dollar bills

Chanhassen psychologist pleads guilty to $550K billing fraud

Charles Howard Jorenby, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in U.S. District Court late last month.

police lights squad car

Charges: Coon Rapids man had 25 pounds of cocaine from Mexico

Luis Javier Avila-Lopez, 38, was arrested after law enforcement seized the cocaine earlier this year.

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

snow

NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

Related

1 person with Legionnaires has died, more cases confirmed

Last week, there were nine confirmed cases in Hopkins.