A small outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has sent two residents of an Albert Lea elder-care facility to the hospital.
Residents, visitors and workers at the facility have been notified and public health officials are working to determine the cause. The outbreak occurred at St. John’s Fountain Lake Community, a care facility that includes assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and independent living.
The Minnesota Department of Health was told Thursday of a second case among facility residents. The first, in an individual who has been released from the hospital, was detected in early June.
This is the second outbreak to hit a Minnesota elder-care facility in the past 10 months. Last September, two cases were reported at a facility in Maple Grove.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which lives in water.
Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and coughing. Many people exposed to the bacteria will not become sick. Those most vulnerable to infection include those over age 50, smokers and those with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or chronic lung disease.