After six guests at Ocean City, MD’s historic Boardwalk hotel contracted Legionnaire’s disease last summer, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Worcester County Health Department confirmed the presence of Legionella in the hotel’s water system. Five months later, one of the six guests has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the hotel.
Extensive testing confirmed the presence of the Legionella bacteria in the building. Water samples were collected from various locations in the hotel.
The defendant in the suit required extensive hospitalization, including intubation for six weeks. He experienced renal failure, septic shock, and respiratory failure. Another guest passed away due to complications from the disease.
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious form of pneumonia that results in long term health effects or a flu-like illness called Pontiac Fever. Most individuals become infected by inhaling Legionella bacteria from contaminated aerosolized water in air or from aspiration of contaminated water; it is not spread from person to person. The bacteria multiply in biofilm found in hot tubs, cooling towers, faucets, showerheads, and potable water systems.
A current or previous smoking habit, chronic lung disease, age (usually 50 years or older), and the use of certain rheumatoid arthritis and chemotherapy drugs can increase the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.
“EMSL Analytical conducts scientifically and legally defensible Legionella testing by both the culture method and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR),” states Diane Miskowski, MPH, Business Development Manager at EMSL Analytical. “Clients can be assured of our results’ accuracy, as we have proudly passed the CDC Legionella Testing Proficiency Program in our Cinnaminson, NJ; Houston, TX; San Leandro, CA; and Manhattan laboratories.”
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.