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August 1, 2014

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Southern Nevada Health District boss: Initial reports of Legionnaires at Aria more than a year ago

That's what Lawrence Sands told folks in an email sent Thursday:

Recently, the health district received information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that six former guests of the ARIA Resort were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, a serious form of pneumonia. Each patient was successfully treated and has fully recovered. Upon receiving initial reports of illness in the Spring of 2010 our environmental health division conducted an investigation and sampled water sources from the property. At that time nothing was found to indicate an increased risk for Legionella. However, after receiving a report of additional illnesses with a travel history that included the ARIA resort, a subsequent investigation found Legionella bacteria present in the hot water system.

Based on the time frame and travel history of the patients, as well as the sampling that was done, it was determined the source of the infection and illness transmission occurred at the property. As a result, we recommended the ARIA notify its guests and take immediate steps to disinfect its water systems. The ARIA has cooperated with our investigation and proactively notified past guests of the potential risk. Our environmental health division has worked out a remediation and monitoring plan with the property and based on ongoing water monitoring reports the health district will be able to refine and update recommendations for guests as needed.

Because the ARIA is taking steps to notify guests that may have been impacted it wasn't necessary for the health district to send out a public notice. However, the media has become aware of this issue and I wanted to ensure that as Board members you were briefed on the situation and were provided with information about our investigation.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please let me know.

Lawrence Sands, D.O., M.P.H.

Chief Health Officer

Southern Nevada Health District

Also, a local blogger has the notification sent by Aria

The story was originally reported in the RJ.

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