One death and 14 confirmed Legionnaires' cases in Hopkins

- There are now 14 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease associated with Hopkins, Minn. and one person has died, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

MDH still investigating possible sources of the outbreak.

Officials say while it is unfortunate to see a death, it is not surprising in an outbreak of this size. The average death rate in Legionnaires' outbreaks is 10 percent, according to the CDC.

All cases involve people who lived, worked or were exposed to the Hopkins area. Their ages range from 20s to 90s. Most people were hospitalized and some are still hospitalized. Officials say many of the cases are "in very serious condition with underlying health conditions."

So far, all were exposed before or during the first full week of Sept., before the outbreak was identified and interventions started on Sept. 9. 

Officials expect to see additional cases because the disease is difficult to diagnose and has a long incubation period.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Legionnaires' disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, which is found in water. The disease is not spread person-to-person, but by inhaling fine spray or aerosols from water that contains the bacteria.

For more information about Legionnaires' disease, click here.


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