Being experts on the subject of hot tub maintenance, I was surprised to see this outbreak come from one the most infamous hot tubs that exist in LA.
It would be real easy to make a moral correlation here but I’ll refrain from the obvious……
Health officials have confirmed that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease was found in a whirlpool spa at the Playboy Mansion where more than 100 people fell ill in February.
The Los Angeles County Health Department presented its findings on Friday at an annual conference at the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta. The legionella bacteria also causes a milder illness called Pontiac fever.
Symptoms, which include fever and headache, are the same as those suffered by the Playboy Mansion partygoers. The people who fell ill were at the mansion to mark the end of the three-day DOMAINFest Global Conference on internet business. The conference took place at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica.
On the second night, there was a party at the Sky Bar on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. The finale on the third night was at Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s famous mansion. Within 48 hours after leaving it, scores of people reported coming down with symptoms including fever, respiratory problems and violent headaches. About 700 people from 30 countries attended the conference.
DOMAINFest asked people who were at the event to fill out a confidential survey to help in the health department investigation. Officials ended up speaking to 439 people and found that up to 200 of them had a fever and at least one other symptom. Sixty-nine people reported falling ill on the same day.
The bacteria are not spread from person to person, they are inhaled in water vapor from hot tubs, showers and even air conditioning systems. Some of those who became ill originally suspected a fog machine that was used at the party in February.
A Playboy spokesman said at the time: ‘There is no truth in the rumor that anyone caught anything at the Playboy Mansion, nor is there any evidence. ‘None of the Playboy staff became ill, the deejay was in the middle of the fog and she didn’t get ill. ‘We have been contacted by the Health Department and the Playboy Mansion is cooperating fully with the investigation.’
One partygoer, Elliot J. Silver, said: ‘It is scary that everyone came down with the same thing at the same time. ‘It knocked me on my ass. A lot of people are blaming the Playboy Mansion on the blogs, but you can’t be sure.’
- Legionnaires disease is one of many bacterias that can cause sickness, from improperly sanitized and filtered hot tubs.