The Florida Department of Health is investigating an Ocoee, Florida-based LA Fitness club after three people who used the facility contracted Legionnaries' disease.
The outbreak has not been directly connected to the East Silver Star Road gym, according to WFTV9, but the club's management wanted members to know they may have been exposed to the bacteria. If untreated, it can cause a dangerous form of pneumonia.
Club staff decontaminated the hot tub and changed all shower heads, per the health department’s recommendation, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
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.
LA Fitness issued the following statement about the possible contamination, as reported by WFTV9:
We were notified last Thursday by the Florida Department of Health in Orange County of a potential exposure to legionellosis at our Ocoee facility. We share in their concern, and we are working closely and diligently with them to address it. Although it has not been conclusively shown through testing that the exposure took place at our facility, the DOH-Orange has recommended we take certain measures to remediate and to notify the members who used the club over the 4 weeks prior to last Thursday. Also, out of extreme caution, we separately enlisted the services of Nalco Water, which provides expertise in water treatment. They performed the remediation steps the DOH-Orange advised, as well as other measures they recommended (again, out of an abundance of caution). Our entire club and all facilities and amenities are currently available for use. We will continue to conduct further testing.