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East Texas State Fair Legionnaires Outbreak

Posted in Legionella,Legionnaire's disease,Outbreaks & Recalls on November 2, 2019

News has broke this week that there is a East Texas State Fair Legionnaires Outbreak. There are seven confirmed cases and five possible cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been identified in the Northeast Texas region. The investigation of these cases is ongoing, as the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET) Health Disease Surveillance Division is working with organizers of the East Texas State Fair and local health officials to investigate any connections of these cases with attendance at the East Texas State Fair this year (September 20th – 29th).

According to NET:

Anyone who attended the East Texas State Fair in Tyler during September 2019 and is sick due to symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease is urged to discuss Legionnaires’ disease with your health care provider immediately.

George Roberts, NET Health CEO, told the local news, “We want (doctors) to specifically ask any patient with the symptoms whether they were at the fair.”

What We Know

NET officials believe the common element in these Legionnaires’ disease cases is the East Texas State Fair.

Within a week’s time five cases were noticed by health officials.

Jason Geslois, epidemiologist with NET Health, said he and other health officials ask patients about where they have traveled recently to find a common denominator of the outbreak’s source. The process of narrowing down the location within the fair is ongoing, but the time frame is Sept. 20 to 29 and two to 10 days afterwards.

“Now we narrow down our scope a little further,” Roberts said. “That’s why we’re trying to track this down.”

Roberts said NET Health has a strong confidence that Harvey Hall Convention Center is safe due to the chlorine that disinfects the water for bacteria like Legionnaires’ disease. “NET Health and state officials conducted an investigation of the facility to test the water sources at Harvey Hall as the disease is spread through water particles,” NET Health’s statement read. “Public health officials confirmed the facility came back negative for any conditions that would allow for Legionnaires’ disease to be present.”

About Legionella:

Legionella bacteria is a kind of bacterium that is found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It becomes a health concern only when the bacteria enters plumbing systems. When the conditions are right, legionella thrives in the water system and spreads through the plumbing.

Symptoms usually start two to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. It begins with cough, fever and headaches and then other symptoms like shortness of breath, muscle aches, etc. begin to develop. The fatality rate of the disease is 10% and most of those who contract the disease are hospitalized. Treatment is done via antibiotics. The sooner the treatment starts, the better chances there are of recovery.

What water conditions causes legionella to grow?

Warm and stagnant water temperatures can cause the bacteria to multiply so when the temperatures are between 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Other favorable conditions include formation of rust, scale or biofilm, pH of the water is not balanced or disinfectant levels become low. These conditions are ideal for the growth of legionella bacteria.

Legal Rights of Legionella Infection Victims

Since Legionnaires’ disease can be prevented by routine cleaning and safety procedures, you have the right to hold the liable party responsible for your affliction. Specifically, you may be entitled to sue in order to receive compensation for your medical costs, hospital stay, reparation for lost wages, any injuries sustained due to the disease, pain and suffering, and/or damages for wrongful death.

Can a Legionnaires’ Disease Lawyer Help?

Yes!

When a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak results from negligence, a lawyer can help to prove that:

  • a building owner failed to follow important safety rules
  • the safety rules exist to prevent legionella bacteria from growing and spreading through the air, where they can get people sick
  • had the building owner followed the important safety rules, no one would have gotten sick with Legionnaires’ disease

What To Do if You Think you Have a Legionnaires’ Disease Case

Get experienced help right away. In order to pursue your claim, you will need a knowledgeable Legionnaires’ disease lawyer who can immediately assist you and take the burden off of your shoulders. They will be responsible for:

  • Obtaining all relevant medical reports
  • Investigating the scene of the exposure
  • Collecting reports completed by the local health department and/or state and federal agencies who conducted investigations
  • Interviewing witnesses and other victims that acquired the disease as well
  • Estimating the value of your personal injury
  • Negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company
  • Representing you during trial, if necessary
  • Hiring qualified experts to testify and provide their expert opinion

Each of these steps will be important in East Texas State Fair Legionnaires Outbreak Lawsuits.

The Lange Law Firm 

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water.  When corporations cause food poisoning outbreaks or Legionnaires disease outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits and Legionnaires disease lawsuits.

If you were infected with Legionnaires disease in the East Texas State Fair Legionnaires Outbreak and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we can help.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at 833.330.3663, or send us an e-mail here.

By: Candess Zona-Mendola, Editor (Non-Lawyer)