PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS — State health officials are investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease in adults who stayed at the Hilton/Hampton Inn Parsippany during the second half of last year.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by inhaling Legionella bacteria.

The three guests, aged 52 to 77, visited the hotel at 1 Hilton Court between July and October 2021. The individuals have since recovered.

State and municipal health officials launched an investigation into the outbreak after the second case was identified in February.

Hotel management took samples from the building’s water system for Legionella testing.

Test results received in April confirmed the presence of Legionella bacteria in the building’s water system, used by guests for showering, washing hands and brushing teeth.

Spread of Legionnaire’s disease (Townsquare Media)

Spread of Legionnaire’s disease (Townsquare Media)

During this time, the hotel hosted the annual Lead East Festival, which spans Labor Day weekend. The multi-day event is billed as a “giant ’50s party,” complete with classic cars, live music and other festivities.

Guests who stayed at the hotel more than two weeks ago and did not develop symptoms are no longer at risk of contracting the disease following their visit.

While hotel management is taking steps to sanitize the building’s water system, state officials say there is still a risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease among recent, current and future guests.

Legionnaires’ disease can be treated with antibiotics, but can cause severe illness and even death. Most healthy people exposed to the bacteria do not develop the disease.

High risk of Legionnaires’ disease (Townsquare Media)

High risk of Legionnaires’ disease (Townsquare Media)

Among those considered to be at high risk are those over 50, former or current smokers, and those with weakened immune systems, chronic lung diseases, or other chronic health conditions.

People can contract Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in water sprays (small water droplets in the air) containing Legionella bacteria – usually from shower heads and sink faucets, hot tubs, decorative fountains and cooling towers (air conditioning units for large buildings).

All guests who have recently visited or plan to stay at the hotel should monitor their health for 14 days for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease – such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain and headache – and get treat if necessary.

Anyone diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after visiting the Hilton/Hampton Inn Parsippany hotel is asked to call their local health department.

Other state health departments may report cases among their residents to the New Jersey Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Service at 609-826-5964.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

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