| Read Time: 5 minutes | Legionnaires’ Disease
legionnaires disease las vegas

If you contracted Legionnaires’ disease while visiting Las Vegas, you could be entitled to compensation. Legionnaires’ disease, sometimes called Legionellosis, can result in life-threatening or fatal respiratory infection.

Outbreaks are commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, including hotels and resorts, high-rise condominiums, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and cruise ships.  Outbreaks typically occur when building owners fail to take proper steps to maintain the building water systems. 

If you developed pneumonia after exposure to Legionella, you could have the right to pursue a legal claim. A Legionnaires’ disease attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your economic and non-economic damages.

What Is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by exposure to the Legionella bacteria.  Legionella bacteria grows and multiplies in building water systems, and water containing Legionella can spread in droplets small enough for people to breathe in.  People can get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease is not spread from person-to-person contact.

Legionella bacteria can also cause Pontiac fever, a less severe illness resembling the flu.  Pontiac fever typically resolves on its own without medical treatment. Legionnaires’ disease, however, can lead to death if left untreated. Treatment typically consists of a course of antibiotic medication. Doctors might also recommend or prescribe other treatments to help ease the symptoms.

Legionnaires’ Disease Symptoms & Signs

The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms may include cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache and muscle aches. Within days, these symptoms progress to pneumonia, a buildup of fluid in the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe.  Serious cases of Legionnaires’ disease can result in septic shock, respiratory failure and acute kidney failure.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (“the CDC”) 1 in 10 people who contract Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.

Pontiac fever is a milder illness caused by Legionella bacteria.  Symptoms are typically limited to fever and muscle aches. Pontiac fever does not result in pneumonia and does not require antibiotic therapy.  Symptoms develop within hours up to 3 days after exposure to the bacteria, and do not last more than one week.  Pontiac fever is self-resolving, meaning medical intervention and medication is not necessary.  

Where Are the Most Common Places to Contract Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionella bacteria is typically found in pipes that are part of a large water system.  Therefore hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities and cruise ships are at risk for legionella outbreaks.  The bacteria grow at water temperatures between 75-105 degrees Fahrenheit.  Since it is more difficult to cool water in the warmer climates, hotels and casinos in Nevada have higher incidents of legionella outbreaks. 

Legionella bacteria grow and thrive in warm water, including hot tubs, hotel pools, spas, large plumbing systems, hot water tanks, decorative fountains, cooling towers and air conditioning units. Legionella bacteria also grows in sink taps and showers that are not used often.  Hotels with outdated or improperly maintained water systems are particularly at risk for legionella growth.  Unsuspecting victims become ill simply by being inside the contaminated building and breathing the air.

Are Some People More Susceptible to Legionnaires’ Disease?

According to the Mayo Clinic, some people have a higher risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease. Older adults (those aged 50 or above) and anyone with a compromised immune system have a higher risk of susceptibility. Current and former smokers also face an increased risk of contracting this disease. Anyone who suffers from a chronic lung disease, including asthma, COPD, and emphysema, faces increased risk. Finally, anyone with cancer or chronic illness (diabetes, kidney failure, liver failure, etc.) has a higher risk of contracting this infection.

Even without any of these risk factors, you could be more susceptible to contracting this infection in certain environments. For example, if you spend time in a pool or hot tub—both of which are abundant in Las Vegas—you face an increased risk of getting Legionnaires’ disease. Likewise, spending time around decorative water fountains and mister systems increases your risk. In Las Vegas, you would struggle to find any hotel or resort that doesn’t have fountains and water features around every turn. Many buildings also have a robust mister system to help cool outdoor areas.

Recent Las Vegas Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks

Despite this condition being completely preventable, the rate of Legionnaires’ disease infection has risen steadily in the United States since 2000.

The history of Legionnaires’ disease in Las Vegas includes multiple incidents. In 2017, an outbreak was tied to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The Rio outbreak involved almost 100 victims. From 2010 to 2011, an outbreak occurred at the Luxor Hotel. This outbreak was tied to one of the hotel’s hot water systems. Also in 2011, multiple victims contracted Legionnaires’ disease at Las Vegas’s Aria Resort and Casino.

Experts believe that many cases go undiagnosed and unreported. If you or a loved one develops any symptoms associated Legionnaires’ disease after visiting a Las Vegas hotel or casino, seek medical attention immediately. Advise your doctor that you visited a Las Vegas resort and request laboratory testing for Legionella exposure. The most common is a urine antigen test.

I Was Exposed to Legionella Bacteria – What Should I Do Now?

If you recently visited a facility where there was a legionella outbreak or believe you were exposed to legionella bacteria see your doctor.  Diagnosing and treating Legionnaires’ disease as soon as possible can help shorten your recovery period and help avoid serious complications.   When not treated promptly, Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal.

If your family doctor has an available appointment, start there.  You might be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating lung disease (pulmonologist) or infectious diseases.  If your symptoms are severe, you might be advised to go directly to the emergency department. 

You should prepare a timeline with key information about your illness, including your travel information, where you stayed, where you visited, and when your symptoms began.  You should also include your health history and all current medications and supplements.

The medical provider will take a history. You will be asked about any recent travel and how soon your symptoms developed after returning home from your trip.  Legionnaires’ disease is typically diagnosed the same way other forms of pneumonia are diagnosed, with a chest x-ray or CT scan and by symptoms.  The doctor may collect a sample of your urine, blood or sputum for laboratory confirmation of the disease. If diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, you will be treated with antibiotics.  The sooner therapy is started, the less likely the chance of developing serious complications. In many cases, treatment requires hospitalization.   

Despite this condition being completely preventable, the rate of Legionnaires’ disease infection has risen steadily in the United States since 2000.

The history of Legionnaires’ disease in Las Vegas includes multiple incidents. In 2017, an outbreak was tied to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The Rio outbreak involved almost 100 victims. From 2010 to 2011, an outbreak occurred at the Luxor Hotel. This outbreak was tied to one of the hotel’s hot water systems. Also in 2011, multiple victims contracted Legionnaires’ disease at Las Vegas’s Aria Resort and Casino.

Experts believe that many cases go undiagnosed and unreported. If you or a loved one develops any Legionnaires’ disease symptoms after visiting a Las Vegas hotel or casino, seek medical attention immediately. Advise your doctor that you visited a Las Vegas resort and request testing for a Legionella exposure.

What Should You Do If You Were Exposed to Legionnaires’ Disease?

In Las Vegas, Legionnaires’ disease cases don’t have to occur—yet they do. If you developed a serious illness due to exposure to Legionella, you deserve justice. The Legionnaires’ disease lawyers of Riley | Ersoff LLP & Shakhnis can help.  RES partner and attorney Victoria L. Ersoff has handled over 2,000 Legionnaires’ claims across the United States. Victoria’s detailed knowledge of the cause and effect of Legionnaires’ disease and her experience in successfully litigating these extremely complex cases is unmatched. 

Victoria and our experienced team of litigators are dedicated to helping victims who sustained harm due to someone’s negligence. We handle every aspect of your case and fight to get you every dollar possible for your damages. You do not have to fight this battle alone.

Call 866-478-1996 or contact us online now to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case analysis with a Legionnaires’ disease attorney.

Author Photo

Victoria L. Ersoff

Victoria Ersoff is a litigation attorney with over 28 years’ experience on both sides of the courtroom, having represented both defendants and plaintiffs alike. Victoria’s proactive, innovative and aggressive approach to the practice of law has yielded an unbroken string of jury verdicts for her clients. She is nationally known for her expertise in all facets of toxic tort litigation and mass bacterial outbreaks including her handling of over 1,000 Legionnaires’ disease claims nationwide. Victoria is nationally known as the “go to” Legionnaires’ disease attorney. She has handled cases across the country including all facets of toxic tort litigation, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5
Loading...