The Florida Department of Health has confirmed four cases of Legionnaires' disease connected to two LA Fitness clubs in Orange County, Florida. This comes one month after the health department investigated three cases at an Ocoee, Florida, LA Fitness facility.
Last Friday, inspectors found bacteria-favorable conditions in the shower and spa areas at LA Fitness' Kirkman Road and Orange Blossom Trail locations, according to a local WKMG report. These areas in both clubs are to undergo treatment and will be closed indefinitely.
Four people who exercise at the facilities have reported Legionnaires-like symptoms, including pneumonia, according to WKMG. Several gym-goers told WKMG the gyms are "always running out of soap" and often lack a proper supply of paper towels.
Health department officials determined the facilities became contaminated sometime between late February and late May.
After an April inspection, the health department recommended that staff at the Ocoee LA Fitness decontaminate the facility's hot tub and change all shower heads.
"We share in [the health department's] concern, and we are working closely and diligently with them to address it," Ocoee club staff said in a Facebook post after the inspection.
Evidence of Legionnaire's disease was previously uncovered at three other LA Fitness clubs in the Orlando area: one on Michigan Street and one on Conway Road in 2008, as well as one at Waterford Lakes in 2010, according to WKMG.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionella bacteria often develops in contaminated water sources, such as showers, hot tubs, cooler towers and decorative fountains. The disease can be contracted when airborne water droplets are inhaled.
Smokers and those with weak immune systems are at greater risk of developing the disease.