Six people infected with Legionnaires’ disease in Beaverton

Author: KGW Staff, Alma McCarty (KGW)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KGW) — Washington County Public Health is investigating six cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported within the last week in the Murrayhill area of Beaverton. Four people have been hospitalized.

The county said those infected range in age from late 40s to early 80s and live within two miles of Murray Boulevard and Scholls Ferry Road.

Health officials have not identified the source of the infection and want to warn people in the area to look out for symptoms. Washington County Public Health is working with the Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect samples and conduct tests to determine the sources of the exposure.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria found naturally in the environment. Common sources of infection include hot tubs, hot water tanks, large air conditioning, plumbing systems and fountains. People can become infected by breathing in droplets from contaminated water, according to Washington County Public Health.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion

“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,” said Washington County Health Officer Dr. Christine Baumann in a news release.

Baumann added that some symptoms can progress to coughing and shortness of breath.

Health officials said Legionnaires disease can be treated with antibiotics and most people make a full recovery. However, older adults, people who smoke, and those who already have lung disease or a compromised immune system are more likely to become seriously ill.

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