All fields are required
Posted in Our Blog on August 25, 2023
The Southern Nevada Health District is investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to two Las Vegas resorts. Three recent guests have fallen ill. Two at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino and one at The Orleans Hotel & Casino.
This is the second cluster of Legionnaires’ disease at The Orleans in the past year.
Two Legionnaires’ disease patients reported that they stayed at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino within the last year. The other patient indicated a recent stay at The Orleans Hotel & Casino. This cluster of diseases has at least this one thing in common.
A stay at a Las Vegas resort.
While that does not provide much of a starting point. A history of positive Legionella environmental samples and strong links between large hotel resorts and Legionnaires’ diseaseprompted an investigation.
This is not the first cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases of the year. In fact, not the first cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases for The Orleans this year.
Two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease were linked to guests staying at The Orleans earlier this year. One guest stayed at the hotel in December 2022 and the other in January 2023. As a result, the resort was required to perform a remediation of the property’s water system.
Environmental samples were obtained at both properties and screened for Legionella bacteria. Current samples from The Orleans Hotel & Casino tested positive. Though recent samples from Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino did not detect the bacteria, Southern Nevada Health District indicated that the resort did have positive Legionella tests earlier in the year.
Both Caesars Palace and The Orleans are working closely with Southern Nevada Health District’s investigation team and working towards eliminating the bacteria to “protect the health and safety of its guests.”
Remediation efforts often include disinfection activities, review of prevention policies and enforcement of those policies, and environmental sampling until all samples are negative for Legionella bacteria.
A representative from Caesars Entertainment, owners of Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino issued a statement notifying the public that they are aware of the recent illnesses and are cooperating with health officials on the matter, indicating swift action and confidence in their safety protocols.
“We are aware that the Southern Nevada Health District is presently investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported by guests who stayed at Caesars Palace approximately seven months apart in 2022 and 2023. We are fully cooperating with the investigation, and the most recent environmental testing did not detect Legionella bacteria. Caesars Palace maintains a robust safety program to minimize the potential for the Legionella bacteria to survive in the water systems at its property that meet or exceed industry standards. In addition, we immediately took further steps to remediate the presence of any trace amounts of Legionella bacteria relating to the two instances being investigated by the Southern Nevada Health District. We are confident in the integrity of our systems and the safety protocols we rigorously follow.” – Caesars Entertainment
A spokesperson for the Boyd Gamin Corporation, owners of The Orleans Hotel & Casino also issued a statement indicating their own take on the investigation.
“The health and safety of our guests are extremely important to us, and we have extensive measures in place to minimize risk to our guests. We were recently notified by the Southern Nevada Health District that it is investigating a case of Legionnaires’ disease reported by a guest who stayed at The Orleans. Upon testing, legionella was not detected in the guest’s room. However, we will continue to work closely with the Health District in their investigation.” – Boyd Gaming Corporation
The investigation is ongoing as the Health District and the resorts work together to resolve this potential contamination event.
In the meantime, the Health District is seeking answers.
The Southern Nevada Health District has created online surveys aimed at gathering more data on the current Legionnaires’ disease cluster. According to the survey landing page, the Southern Nevada health District is investigating “the potential exposure of individuals to Legionnaires’ disease at local properties in the city over the last 12 months.”
The surveys are aimed at anyone who has:
The Health District indicates that participation in the survey is confidential and will not be shared outside of the Health District. Based on your responses, you may be contacted with additional questions to assist with the investigation efforts.
Guests who stayed at The Orleans as early as August 1, 2023 and experienced symptoms up to 14 days after their stay should use this survey: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7488633/e70472c1f429
Guests who stayed at Caesars from August 1 to August 23, 2023 and experienced symptoms after their stay should use this survey: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7488633/e70472c1f429
Legionnaires’ Disease Symptoms
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia illness caused by infection of the Legionella bacteria. Legionella is a bacterium that is commonly found in freshwater environments such as lakes, streams, and rivers. Infection becomes more probable when the bacteria find their way into man-made water systems and fixtures such as showerheads and sink faucets, cooling towers (like those used in large buildings’ air-cooling systems), hot tubs, decorative fountains and water features, hot water tanks and heaters, large and complex plumbing systems, and plumbing systems under construction.
People become infected when they breathe in water droplets containing the microscopic organism.
Common symptoms include:
Other symptoms may include:
Legionnaires’ disease is often misdiagnosed, as symptoms are very similar to other pneumonia illnesses. Unfortunately, accurate diagnosis is crucial to a faster recovery. Specific antibiotics can be used to treat Legionella infection, helping the patient recover much faster.
Legionnaires’ disease symptoms generally begin anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure, though this could be longer in certain situations.
The Southern Nevada Health District urges guests who have stayed at a Las Vegas resort and develop symptoms within 14 days of their stay to “seek medical attention and alert their doctor of the potential exposure.”
Legionnaires’ disease is a preventable illness often caused by lapse in legally mandated practices. Becoming sick after staying at a hotel whose accommodations you expect are safe is a violation of trust. Medical bills, lost wages, and other burdens add up. An experienced Legionnaires’ disease lawyer can help you through this process.
By: Heather Van Tassell