North Carolina health officials say a fourth person has died from Legionnaires’ disease. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources said in a statement that its Division of Public Health has confirmed 141 cases involving residents from counties and multiple states. In addition to the deaths, 94 people were hospitalized.
Information gathered by local health officials showed that most patients attended the NC Mountain State Fair, which ran from Sept. 6-15 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Officials have said those who were diagnosed with the disease may have walked by the hot tub displays.
On Thursday, DHHS reported a case of Legionnaires’ in a person who didn’t attend the fair, but instead went to the Agricultural Center for a quilt show.
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. People get sick inhaling microscopic water droplets containing the legionella bacteria. It is not contagious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 Legionnaire’s victims will die.
Officials have not identified any of the people who have died from the disease, but CBS affiliate WSPA reported earlier this months that a woman’s obituary said she died from Legionnaires’ disease, and her family said she attended the N.C. Mountain State Fair prior to being admitted to the hospital.
This is at least the second major Legionnaires’ outbreak in the past two months. In August, a widespread outbreak of the disease killed one person and sickened possibly dozens of others who were.