2 cases of Legionnaires' disease linked to Niles LA Fitness

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Thursday, May 18, 2023
2 Legionnaires' cases linked to Niles LA Fitness
Two cases of Legionnaires' disease have been linked to the L.A. Fitness on Touhy Avenue in Niles, public health officials said.

NILES, Ill. (WLS) -- Two cases of Legionnaires' disease have been linked to an L.A. Fitness location in Niles, public health officials said.

Officials said the location has been disinfecting and cleaning impacted areas, and that those areas are to remain closed until the disease is no longer detected. But as of Wednesday night, the gym and locker rooms remained open and some members said they're concerned.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating the gym on Touhy Avenue. They said the L.A. Fitness closed its pool, spa, showers and steam room after learning about the cases on May 5.

On Tuesday, testing by the county and state confirmed that Legionella bacteria had been found in a hot tub.

One member of the gym, who did not want to be identified, said given the seriousness of the disease he felt more should be done to notify members.

"Pneumonia serious anytime, but the fact of the matter is, is it according to what I've read, people who are over 50 are at risk. This space is at risk of transmitting it and probably 20 to 30% of the people in the morning when we go to the gym are over the age of 50," he said.

Legionnaires' disease, although not contagious, is a serious lung infection you can get by breathing in small droplets of Legionella-contaminated water. The disease is treatable, but it can be deadly.

"I would like them to have a plan in place for this type of, you know, infection being transmitted in their space," the gym member said. "And I hope the two gentlemen who got sick, you know, take the time to let them know how disappointed they are."

An L.A. Fitness representative told ABC7 they are cooperating with public health officials and it may be weeks before impacted areas are reopened to members.