Legionnaires' disease - Murrayhill cluster

Public health staff collect water samples as part of Legionnaires' disease investigationNovember 15, 2021: We have received no new reports of Legionnaires’ disease since six cases were reported in late October. People who became ill lived within a two-mile radius of the Murray Boulevard and Scholls Ferry Road intersection.

We are still investigating the disease cluster, but have not identified a common source.

We took 26 environmental samples from fountains and water features where the people who became ill reported possible exposure. We found the legionella bacteria that most often causes pneumonia in filters in an apartment complex hot tub. Owners of the hot tub had already drained the water as a precautionary measure, so if this was a source of infection, it is no longer a threat.

“Regular maintenance of hot tubs is important to prevent legionella and other infection-causing bacteria from growing. This includes making sure filters are changed, tubs are cleaned frequently and that there is an appropriate chlorine concentration and pH level in the tub,” said Dr. Christina Baumann, Washington County health officer.

We can’t say that the hot tub in the apartment complex is a source of infection, but since the bacteria was present in the hot tub, we are working with the owner to make sure the tub is thoroughly cleaned and maintained before it is used again.

We did not detect the legionella bacteria that most often causes pneumonia in the other water sources we tested, including in the fountains at Murrayhill Lake.  

We continue to look for other possible sources of infection and will update this page when we have more information.

See CDC page about how to prevent legionella from growing in hot tubs.

November 1, 2021: We have not identified a source of the Murrayhill Legionnaires' disease cluster. As a precaution, public fountains and water features where some of the ill people reported possible exposure have been turned off or drained. We are collecting water samples and trying to determine a source and will update this page when we have more information.

If you have symptoms of Legionnaires' disease and live, work or frequent places within a two-mile radius of Murray Boulevard and Scholls Ferry Road, contact your health care provider. 

October 28, 2021: Press release in English and Spanish