An LA Fitness in Naperville remained open Thursday after reports surfaced that two men had contracted Legionnaires' Disease in one of the facility’s hot tubs, and DuPage County health authorities say there is no reason for concern.
“As soon as there was any potential common exposure identified, that section of the health club was closed down,” said Dr. Rashmi Chugh. “There has not been any ongoing exposure to the public.”
Officials said when they first suspected someone had contracted Legionnaires' from using the hot tub, the areas were off limits and remain off limits.
A spokesman for the DuPage County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that two men contracted Legionnaires' Disease.
The Legionella bacteria had been traced back to a hot tub at the LA Fitness on Freedom Drive in Naperville after the incident was first reported on Oct. 23.
The DuPage County Health Department said Thursday that because two weeks have passed since the reports and no other reports have surfaced, it is unlikely there will be more cases related to the health club. Still, some are being cautious.
“I don’t use the hot tub,” one member of the health club said. “I’m a germaphobe.”
Chugh said the Legionella bacteria is spread when people, especially those who are already sick, inhale water vapor containing the bacteria. Symptoms typically include coughing, high fever and chills.
It’s what happened to Kent Carson, who lost both his legs below the knee and his left arm below the elbow after he was diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease. After months in the hospital, however, he still doesn’t know how he was exposed.
Chugh said that careful cleaning and disinfection prevents the bacterial buildup.
“That’s why we have regulation and recommendations for regular cleaning, disinfection and draining at those sites,” she said.
Authorities said the two men with the disease have since recovered and have been discharged from the hospital, but not everyone gets seriously ill from the bacteria. Some can have a mild illness, according to officials.