Legionella in the Playboy mansion

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Dangerous bacteria in the whirlpool of the Playboy mansion

The pool area in the villa of Playboy founder Hugh Heffner is infamous and has been used by countless party guests. The California health authority has now detected dangerous bacteria of the Legionella genus in a whirlpool of the 85-year-old.

After more than a hundred guests complained of fever and other symptoms of the illness following a Playboy founder’s pool party in February, California’s health officials discovered legionella in a hot tub at the Playboy mansion. The dangerous bacteria cause Legionnaires' disease, which is characterized by pneumonia and possible infections outside the respiratory tract, such as inflammation of the inner skin of the heart or inflammation of the kidney.

Legionnaires' disease caused by bacteria in the whirlpool? Over a hundred guests at a charity event in Playboy founder Hugh Heffner's villa suffered from chills, coughing, and difficulty breathing after the event, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday. While searching for the causes, the California health authorities have now discovered the dangerous Legionella bacteria in a whirlpool. The bacteria can trigger Legionnaires' disease with severe pneumonia and infections of other organs. The Legionella bacteria can be detected relatively often, for example, in hot water production and distribution systems, swimming pools, air conditioning, showers, water tanks and also cold water pipes with the influence of heat from outside. Legionella prefer water temperatures of 25 to 59 degrees Celsius, with a long dwell time and fresh water supply at the same time. The legionella contained in the water is released into the air as aerosols (very fine droplets) and thus deep into the lungs when breathing, where the rod-shaped bacteria can then trigger legionnaires' disease with the typical pneumonia. The first symptoms usually appear two to ten days after contact with the Legionella bacteria. With timely diagnosis, legionnaires' disease can be treated relatively well with antibiotics.

Legionella are widespread worldwide The so-called legionella was first discovered in 1976 at a meeting of American war veterans at the Bellevue-Standfort Hotel in Philadelphia. 180 of the 4,400 delegates contracted severe lung infections, 29 died of the consequences of the previously unknown epidemic. A year after the mysterious illnesses, the bacterium was discovered in the lung tissue of a deceased veteran. Since Legionella bacteria have become known, regular epidemics of Legionnaires' disease have been registered worldwide. Infections also occur occasionally in Germany, but an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease with an epidemic character is rather rare in Germany. At the beginning of January 2010, however, according to official information, 64 people contracted Legionnaires' disease and five died in the Ulm area, whereby the cooling towers of a combined heat and power plant near the main train station in Ulm were primarily suspected as a possible source of infection. (fp)

Also read:
Diagnosis: Legionella in drinking water
Drinking water is often contaminated with germs
Focus on infectious diseases

Image: aksel / pixelio.de

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