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J Infect Dis. 2002 Jan 15;185(2):237-43. Epub 2001 Dec 18.

An outbreak of travel-associated Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever: the need for enhanced surveillance of travel-associated legionellosis in the United States.

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Epidemic Intelligence Service, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Travel-associated outbreaks of legionnaires disease (LD) and combined outbreaks of LD and Pontiac fever (PF) are rarely identified. During one travel-associated combined outbreak at a hotel, a cohort study of potentially exposed persons and an environmental investigation were performed. Two LD and 22 PF cases were identified. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 6 (Lp6) isolates from the index patient and the hotel whirlpool spa were found to be identical by amplified fragment-length polymorphism typing. Disease occurred in 10 of 26 guests who were exposed to the spa versus 2 of 29 guests who were exposed only to the pool area (38% vs. 7%; P=.005). Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to the outbreak Lp6 strain was more common among persons with PF (4 of 9) than among non-ill persons (2 of 32) (44% vs. 6%; P=.02). Spa exposure correlated with disease (P=.001) and IgM seropositivity (P=.007). New laboratory techniques facilitate outbreak investigation; to expedite outbreak interruption and measure the impact of travel-associated legionellosis, surveillance must be improved.

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