By Candess Zona-Mendola of MakeFoodSafe
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has announced an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease potentially linked to the Mountain State Fair in North Carolina. As of today, there are 32 confirmed illnesses and one person has died. According to the health agents, “The source of the outbreak is under investigation. Many of the cases reported attending the NC Mountain State Fair, held September 6-15, 2019 in Fletcher, NC.” The investigation in ongoing.
As Legionnaires’ disease is typically transmitted through contaminated water sources, the health agencies are investigating any rides that may have water. “Features, exhibits, and rides that incorporated some type of water exposure that created droplets which came in contact with visitors will be our focus,” Steven Smith, Henderson County’s Director of Health.
North Carolina’s health agencies recommend anyone who attended the Mountain State Fair, and is showing symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, seek medical attention. State Epidemiologist Zack Moore recommends, ““As a precaution, we are recommending that anyone who went to the fair and has symptoms of pneumonia, like cough, fever or shortness of breath, see a doctor right away and talk with them about Legionnaires’ disease.”