BEAVERTON, Ore. — Four people have been hospitalised after several cases of Legionnaires’ disease were discovered in the Murrayhill area of Beaverton.
Washington County Public Health says it’s investigating the six cases — all of which were reported within the last week among people who live within two miles of Murray Boulevard and Scholls Ferry Road.
Public health officials say the people who have contracted the infection range in age from late 40s to early 80s. Additional information on those who were hospitalised was not immediately available.
The source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, according to Washington County Public Health. The agency is cautioning the public to be aware of symptoms so that cases can be identified quickly and those who are ill can get treatment.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of lung infection caused by the Legionella bacteria, which is naturally found in freshwater, but can get into the plumbing system and cause people to fall ill. Growing best in warm water, health officials say common sources include: hot tubs, hot water tanks, large air conditioning and plumbing systems, fountains, and water bodies. It infects someone after they inhale it in a fine water mist — it is not spread by drinking water.
“People with Legionnaires’ disease may have flu-like symptoms including fever, tiredness, muscle aches and headaches, that often progress to coughing and shortness of breath. Nausea, diarrhoea and confusion are also possible symptoms,” said Dr. Christina Baumann, Washington County health officer, in a statement. “If you live in or frequent the affected area and experience these symptoms, please contact your health provider right away so they can determine if you have Legionnaires and provide treatment.”
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