3 dead, 140 sickened in North Carolina Legionnaires' outbreak

A third person in North Carolina has died from Legionnaires' disease, according to CNN. 

As of Oct. 14, health officials have confirmed 140 Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever cases linked to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. Ninety-four people have been hospitalized. 

At least one water testing sample identified Legionella bacteria near a hot tub display at the fair, according to preliminary findings from the North Carolina health department. No other potential sources of exposure were found. 

Most confirmed cases occurred among North Carolina residents, but 10 cases occurred in individuals from surrounding states. 

Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever, a milder form of the disease, can be contracted when water droplets containing Legionella bacteria are inhaled, the CDC reports. About 6,100 cases of Legionnaires' disease were reported in the U.S. in 2016, but the disease is likely underdiagnosed. About 10 percent of cases are fatal. 

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