Outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease linked to N.H. campground

Five cases of Legionnaires' disease are tied to a campground in Meredith, N.H.

 digitally colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Janice Haney Carr/The New York Times

Officials are warning the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease tied to a campground in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has identified five people who contracted Legionella pneumonia, also known as Legionnaires’ disease, the agency said in a release. All five people had stayed at the Meredith Woods and Clearwater Campground in Meredith, N.H. before getting sick. The five cases occurred between early fall 2021 and January 2023.

“Anybody choosing to stay at this facility should be aware of the ongoing outbreak investigation and potential risk for exposure to Legionella bacteria through the facility’s water system,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said in a statement. 


All five of the people who got sick were hospitalized as a result. Each person recovered, and no deaths have been reported. 

Public health officials are actively investigating the facility. Legionella bacteria, which cause the disease, can contaminate water systems. People can become infected from inhaling aerosolized water droplets contaminated with the bacteria, officials said. These droplets can come from showers, hot tubs, faucets, cooling towers, misters, and decorative fountains. 

Legionnaires’ disease is not spread by drinking or swimming in water, unless water is drawn into the lungs. It is not usually transmitted from person to person. 

State officials say they have already found bacteria contamination in the water system at several locations. They are working with the campground’s owners and an environmental consultant to implement a water prevention and management plan. 

There is still a chance that more locations at the campground could be contaminated, officials said. 

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. Most people who are exposed to the bacteria will not get sick, but Legionnaires’ disease can cause severe illness and sometimes result in death. 

Symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia. Coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches are all known symptoms. Although many people may develop mild symptoms, Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal if left untreated. 


Symptoms usually begin two to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria. 

Anyone who visited the campground and then developed symptoms or knows someone who did is being urged to contact New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control by calling 603-271-4496.

“Anybody who has stayed at this facility in the last couple of weeks and develops pneumonia or fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, headache and muscles aches, should talk to their healthcare provider about testing for Legionella infection, which can impact treatment decisions,” Chan said in a statement.


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