DOH News Release: DOH investigating cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases

Posted on Mar 23, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in guests who stayed at The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations located in Waikiki.

DOH is aware of two confirmed cases of non-Hawaiʻi residents diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following a stay at The Grand Islander. The first case was diagnosed in June 2021 and the second case was diagnosed on March 6 or 7, 2022.

“While the risk to the general public is low, cases of Legionnaires’ disease are on the rise nationwide,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. “Individuals who stayed at the Hilton Grand Islander in the last two weeks who develop symptoms or individuals who were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after a stay at the Grand Islander are encouraged to seek medical attention and contact DOH.”

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headache. Symptoms usually begin within two to 14 days of exposure. Most healthy people exposed to Legionella bacteria do not develop Legionnaires’ disease. Those at increased risk include people 50 and older, current or former smokers, and people with a chronic lung disease or weakened immune system.

Legionnaires’ disease is treated with antibiotics and cannot spread from person to person. Legionella bacteria are found in freshwater environments and can spread in water systems such as showerheads and sink faucets, cooling towers, hot tubs, and large plumbing systems.

The exact source of illness and extent of spread are still being investigated. DOH is working closely with the Grand Islander to protect public health and thanks the Grand Islander for working cooperatively. DOH distributed a request to public health agencies across the country to report cases of Legionnaires’ disease with a travel history to Hawaiʻi.

Call (808) 586-4586 to reach DOH’s Disease Outbreak and Control Division Disease Reporting Line or click here to report an illness by email.

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita-Chang

Communications Office

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806