Legionnaires Cases in North Carolina Rise to 25

Sept. 27, 2019 -- The number of cases of Legionnaires' disease tied to the North Carolina Mountain State fair has risen to 25, with one death, according to the state division of public health.

The cause of the outbreak is still being investigated, but many of those sickened went to the fair in Fletcher between Sept. 6 and 15, CNN reported.

Health authorities are looking at airborne droplets from water rides as a possible source of the outbreak, Kelly Haight Connor, a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Health and Human Services, told CNN.

State health officials are asking anyone who went to the fair who is suffering from cough, fever or shortness of breath to call their doctor o them about Legionnaire's disease.

So far, 22 people ranging in age from 37 to 90, have been hospitalized, health officials say.

Legionnaires' causes a lung infection that people get when they breathe in the Legionella bacteria. The disease is serious but can be treated with antibiotics, but for about 1 in 10 it's fatal, according to CNN.

About 7,500 cases of Legionnaires' disease were seen in 2017, but because many cases aren't reported, the real number is likely higher and the rate of people who get the disease has gone up 550% since 2000, according to the CDC.

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