By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

North Carolina health officials have reported a third Legionnaires’ disease fatality linked to the NC Mountain State Fair, held September 6-15, 2019 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC.

As of Oct. 14, 140 cases of Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac Fever had been reported in residents of multiple states and North Carolina counties.

Buncombe, Henderson and Haywood counties have seen the most cases with 49, 34 and 12, respectively. Ten cases were reported in out of state residents.

The outbreak has been linked to a hot tubs display at the Davis Event Center at WNC Ag Center.

Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment. These bacteria can become a health concern when they grow and spread in human-made building water systems like hot water tanks, cooling towers of air conditioning systems, decorative fountains and hot tubs or spas that aren’t properly maintained.

Approximately 200 cases are reported annually in North Carolina.