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Mass. resident dies, R.I. resident released from hospital after Legionnaires’ disease diagnoses following stays at N.H. resort

A digitally colorized scanning electron microscopic image provided by Janice Haney Carr at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.JANICE HANEY CARR/NYT

A person from Massachusetts died and a person from Rhode Island was hospitalized after they were recently diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after fall visits to the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, N.H., public health officials said.

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services is investigating the infections to determine potential sources of exposure, officials said Friday in an alert to health care providers.

The resort’s management said it “is fiercely committed to the well-being of all those who walk through the door” and stressed that public health officials have not concluded where the infected people were exposed.

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“The state confirmed they cannot be certain where these individuals contracted their infection, and we are working closely with the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to determine if the two individuals were affected as a result of visiting the property in Fall of 2023,” the resort said in a statement.

“We are continuing to follow our stringent and consistent protocols to ensure the utmost health and safety of our guests and employees while we await test results recently conducted to confirm the potential source,” the resort said.

The cases mark the second cluster of Legionnaires’ infections reported in New Hampshire in less than a year.

In March, public health officials said they had linked a pair of campgrounds in Meredith, N.H., to a Legionnaires’ outbreak that infected five people between fall 2021 and January 2023. All five were hospitalized and all had stayed at the Meredith Woods and Clearwater Campground complex before getting sick, officials said. They all recovered.

In the alert on Friday, officials asked health care providers to consider Legionnaires’ infection as a possible cause in cases of pneumonia contracted in non-medical settings and to ask patients if they have traveled, including local excursions, in the 14 days before their symptoms began.

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“Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia characterized by fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches, and pulmonary infiltrates consistent with pneumonia,” the alert said. “Illness often is severe enough to require hospitalization and has an [up] to 10% fatality rate.”

The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease are frequently found in water and soil, and people are typically infected when water containing the bacteria becomes an aerosol and is inhaled, public health officials said.

Most infections occur randomly but some outbreaks are associated with communal water supplies in large facilities such as hotels, apartment buildings, and hospitals, the alert said.

Globe correspondent Adam Sennott contributed to this report.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him @jeremycfox.