The Florida Department of Health is currently investigating two LA Fitness Gyms after four members contracted Legionnaires' Disease. Interestingly, two cases were linked to the two different LA Fitness locations each - both of which are in Orlando.
Legionellosis is a pneumonia-like illness caused by a type of bacteria typically found in water systems. While the bacteria exist naturally in fresh water, they pose a larger threat to humans when they begin to grow in enclosed water systems like hot tubs, fountains, showers, and other similar spaces. According to the CDC, humans then contract the disease when they breathe in small particles of water that contain the bacteria.
In addition to causing respiratory problems, Legionnaires' disease can also cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, and general fatigue. Though symptoms typically appear a few days following exposure, they can take up to two weeks to appear in some cases.
Investigators have yet to confirm that the LA Fitness gyms are the definitive cause, however, all four of the people who contracted the disease in the area had recently visited one of the two locations. In the meantime, the Florida Department of Health has taken water samples and will be examining them in the coming weeks.
Following the investigation, the two gyms were asked to take extra precautions by increasing the chlorine used where necessary. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the company also sent an email to members of both gyms about the possible risk.
Unfortunately, there are no vaccines to prevent legionellosis. The CDC simply recommends that people be careful and vigilant about the public water systems they expose themselves to. To test the water at your gym, you can also purchase pool test strips and use them before entering a hot tub or pool.