Press release from Henderson Co. Dept. of Public Health:
The North Carolina Division of Public Health is conducting a survey of people who attended the fair NC Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, NC, between September 6-15, even if they did not become ill. Participation will help investigators understand the outbreak and could help prevent similar outbreaks in the future.
Answers will be kept confidential, and the information will be used for public health purposes only. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. If multiple people in a household attended the fair, each person should complete a survey. If someone cannot answer the survey questions, then someone else can answer on their behalf. Start a new survey for each person at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dhhs_survey.
For questions about this survey, the investigation, or to report possible cases, call the Public Health Hotline at (828) 694-4040 or contact the NCDHHS Division of Public Health at (919) 733-3419.
As of Monday, September 30, there are 29 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Henderson County. The case count is updated by 2:00 p.m. on the website at https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/health/page/legionnaires-disease.
State health officials have visited the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center and determined that there are not currently any significant sources for aerosolized water — small droplets such as mists or vapors that could pose a risk if contaminated with Legionella bacteria and inhaled into the lungs. Investigations are ongoing into other possible sources of aerosolized water that were present at the fair.
Anyone who attended the Mountain State Fair and is sick with symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, see your health care provider and discuss Legionnaires’ disease with them. If you live in Henderson County and have questions about Legionnaires’ disease, please call the Public Health Hotline at (828) 694-4040 or visit HendersonCountyNC.gov/health.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by Legionella bacteria. It is spread through water droplets in the air that people can breathe in. Legionnaires’ disease is not typically spread person to person.
Legionnaires’ disease causes a severe lung infection or pneumonia. Symptoms may include cough, high fever, weakness, muscle aches, headaches, and shortness of breath. Legionnaires’ disease is treated with antibiotics. Most people who get sick with it need to be hospitalized but recover fully. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 out of 10 people with Legionnaires’ disease will die from the infection.
Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not become sick but certain people are at increased risk for getting Legionnaires’ Disease including:
- Those age 50 or older
- Current or former smokers
- Those with chronic lung disease like emphysema or COPD
- Those with weakened immune systems due to disease or medication