Napa County

Bacteria Causing Legionnaires' Disease Identified in Cooling Tower at Napa Hotel

The disease is not spread from person to person, Napa County health officials said, and can be quelled with antibiotics if caught early enough.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A cooling tower at the Embassy Suites Napa Valley has been identified to hold an unsafe amount of Legionella bacteria, which has infected a dozen residents and killed one over the last month, Napa County health officials said Wednesday.

The tower at the hotel, located on California Boulevard in Napa, was determined to hold high levels of the bacteria an investigation by county health officials, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A cooling tower at the Embassy Suites Napa Valley has been identified to hold an unsafe amount of Legionella bacteria, which has infected a dozen residents and killed one over the last month, Napa County health officials said Wednesday. Ian Cull reports.

County officials said the cooling tower has been taken offline, preventing further risk to the general public.

The bacteria cause a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease and typically grows in warm water. Contaminated water can then be aerosolized via air conditioning units, hot tubs, cooling misters and decorative fountains.

"Our joint investigation team continues to work with Embassy Suites staff to remediate the source of exposure," Napa County Health Officer Dr. Karen Relucio said in a statement. "Finding Legionella in one water sample is an important piece of the puzzle, but we must continue to investigate other cooling towers and water sources in the outbreak area, as it is common to find more than one source."

Since July 11, 2022, at least 12 county residents have contracted Legionnaires' disease and subsequently hospitalized. In addition to the one death, three residents remain hospitalized with the disease.

None of the residents who have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, to date, have been confirmed to have visited the hotel.

Those who are over age 50, smoke cigarettes, have weakened immune systems or a chronic health condition in the lungs are most at risk to contract the disease, according to the county.

The disease is not spread from person to person, county health officials said, and can be quelled with antibiotics if caught early enough.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley provided the following statement on Thursday:

"The safety and well-being of our guests and Team Members are of paramount importance, and Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley continues to make every effort to ensure all practices and standards are in line with strict safety and security regulations.

We are aware of public reports by Napa County Public Health of a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the area and preliminary findings in our cooling tower. We are waiting for a full report with test results from the health department, however, remain diligent in our commitment to providing a safe, hospitable environment for all. In keeping with that commitment and upon learning of their concerns, we immediately contacted our consultant and water treatment provider to ensure we were following the guidance set forth by the health department and began remediation.

We continue to cooperate fully and work closely with health officials on their ongoing investigation."

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
Contact Us