HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KFSM) — The Quapaw Bath and Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas has been closed after Legionella bacteria was found in the water at the spa, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
Legionella bacteria can cause a severe type of pneumonia known as Legionnaire’s disease.
The ADH says extensive environmental water test were conducted throughout the spa, and the bacteria was found in two interior areas and a fountain outside. Due to the results from the analysis, water-related services in the resort and fountain have been closed immediately to begin disinfection efforts.
Hot Springs National Park is aware of three people with Legionnaires’ disease that became sick during the past year and visited the spa. However, it’s unclear if the spa was the source of the bacteria that caused the people to become sick, according to the ADH.
People can catch the Legionella bacteria when they breathe in aerosolized droplets of water that contain the bacteria. Most people exposed to Legionella will not get sick, the ADH says. In some people, Legionella can cause severe illness.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease usually begin 2-14 days after exposure and can include cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches, and fever.
Legionnaires’ disease can be treated with antibiotics.
If you have visited the Quapaw Bath and Spa in Hot Springs and are experiencing the symptoms listed, you are asked to seek medical attention immediately. If you are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, please report it to the Arkansas Department of Health as soon as possible. You can call the ADH at 501-537-8969 if you have further questions.