North Carolina reports 1st Legionnaires' case not linked to state fair

North Carolina health officials on Oct. 17 reported the first case of Legionnaires' disease in an individual who did not attend a recent state fair, which is believed to be the source of a major outbreak occurring in the state, according to ABC affiliate News 13 reports. 

As of Oct. 14, officials confirmed 140 Legionnaires' cases linked to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, which was held in an event space at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Asheville. The new case occurred in an individual who attended a quilt show at the same venue from Sept. 27-29, at least 12 days after the fair ended.

"It is possible that they were exposed at the WNC Ag Center, but ... we can't rule out exposure in another location," Zack Moore, MD, an epidemiologist at the North Carolina health department, told News 13.

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

The state's agriculture department suspended the rental of the event space after the bacteria discovery and supervised an industrial cleaning of the facility's water system. No bacteria was found in follow-up water testing Oct. 4 and 7.

News 13 could not immediately reach WNC Agricultural Center officials for comment.

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