Legionnaires’ Disease at North Carolina Mountain State Fair

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”


A recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has been tied to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. The findings were in a preliminary report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) published on October 3. The department investigated the cause of illness among at least 124 reported cases traced back to possible exposure to the bacteria at the fair. At least one person died as a result of the illness. The fair was held September 6 through September 15 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. The building was temporarily closed following the initial report.


bacteria-growth-plates-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-Injury-attorney-300x225What is Legionnaires’ Disease?


Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterial infection that is a type of pneumonia. The bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever, which is a less severe illness. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the bacteria known as Legionella pneumophila. The bacteria thrive in warm water conditions and are transmitted by air. The disease is not transmitted from person to person. Typically, the bacteria enter the system by breathing in tiny droplets of contaminated water.


The disease begins in two or three days after exposure and starts with flu-like symptoms such as headache, body aches, fever, chills, and fatigue. Legionnaires’ disease progresses rapidly with more severe symptoms including difficulty breathing, cough, and nausea. The disease can cause more serious and life-threatening complications such as respiratory failure, sepsis, shock, shutdown of body organs, and coma. It is imperative to receive medical treatment as soon as possible with strong antibiotics.


Who is at Risk for Legionnaires’ Disease?


Anyone can get Legionnaires’ disease as a result of exposure to the Legionella pneumophila. Some individuals are at a higher risk of complications as a result of exposure. People over the age of 50, those who smoke, those with lung conditions, and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk than others. Not everyone who comes into contact with the bacteria will get sick. Doctors will perform a variety of tests to make the diagnosis. Tests may include chest x-rays, blood and urine tests, tests of sputum, a spinal tap, and CT brain scan.

Where Does Legionnaires’ Disease Grow?


Legionnaires’ disease starts and multiplies in water systems. Some of the common places include hot tubs, hot water tanks, cooling systems, plumbing systems, showerheads, fountains, and cooling towers, among others. In the case of the State Fair outbreak, experts are still investigating. However, the preliminary results found that the outbreak likely occurred in the Davis Event Center. The building housed displays that included working hot tubs. The investigation is ongoing. It is important to note that the source of Legionnaires’ disease can be extremely difficult to pinpoint and can take quite a bit of work to locate.


Legionnaires’ disease is often caused by negligence in regards to a water supply or feature and is preventable. The negligent party may be identified and the victim can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you or someone you love is the victim of Legionnaires’ disease, contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for a consultation. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.







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