Legionnaires’ Disease Cases Traced to Morris County, NJ, Hotel
PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS — State health officials are investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease among adults who stayed at the Hilton/Hampton Inn Parsippany Hotel within the second half of last year.
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by breathing in Legionella bacteria.
All three guests, between the ages of 52 and 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 outbreak investigation after the second case was identified in February.
Hotel management collected 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.
During that time span, the hotel hosted the annual Lead East festival, which spans Labor Day weekend. The multi-day event is billed as a “giant 50's party,” with classic cars, live music and other festivities.
Guests who stayed at the hotel more than two weeks ago and have not developed symptoms are no longer at risk for the disease as a result of their visit.
As hotel management is taking action to disinfect the building’s water system, according to state officials, there is still a risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease among recent, current and future guests.
Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics, but can cause severe illness and even death. Most healthy people exposed to the bacteria do not develop the illness.
Among those considered at high risk are people over the age of 50, former or current smokers, and those with weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease or other chronic health conditions.
People can get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in aerosolized water (small droplets of water in the air) containing Legionella bacteria — commonly from shower heads and sink faucets, hot tubs, decorative fountains and cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings).
All guests who 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 aches, and headaches — and seek treatment as needed.
Anyone who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after visiting the Hilton/Hampton Inn Parsippany Hotel is urged to call their local health department.
Other state health departments can report cases among their residents to the New Jersey Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Service at 609-826-5964.