TIL that in 1999, an improperly set up hot tub at a garden show in Bovenkarspel, The Netherlands, caused an outbreak of 206 cases of Legionnaire’s disease and 32 confirmed deaths

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Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. Legionnaires’ disease doesn’t spread from person to person. Instead, the bacteria spreads through mist, such as from air-conditioning units for large buildings. Adults over the age of 50 and people with weak immune systems, chronic lung disease, or heavy tobacco use are most at risk.


In case anyone is curious: demo hot tubs were filled with stagnant water from a fire hose. No chlorine was used. The mists carried the bacterium into lungs of passersbys.


I used to be in charge of maintaining a hot tub at an upscale cross country ski resort. Made me never want to go in one ever again.


My friend just started a job in a hospital where one of his main jobs is making sure taps are regularly turned on to clear any stagnant water out of the pipes. You’d be surprised in a hospital how many taps can go days/weeks/months without being used. It’s a really important task I’d never even considered until he told me.


It also happened near Asheville, NC at the Mountain State Fair in 2019. 4 people died.