A recent Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak has been traced to the Garden City Crunch Fitness in Idaho.
David Porter, a Crunch Fitness member since 2017, was among three confirmed cases and spent eight days in the Saint Alphonsus Intensive Care Unit receiving oxygen.
Curtis Loveless, administrator for the Division of Community and Environmental Health for the Central Health District (CDH), said they traced the three cases back to the Garden City Crunch Fitness.
According to reports, investigators were most concerned about the area around the hot tub.
“It is a bacteria that will live in fresh water, typically water that is warmer in temperature,” Loveless said. “It will often become aerosolized and inhaled by humans and then get into the lungs and cause symptoms similar to that of pneumonia.”
The week before becoming sick, Porter said he used the spa on several occasions. His symptoms began on May 30, which started as a cough and progressed to breathing problems and a fever. By the time he had been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease, he was in the hospital hallucinating.
After the second case was reported on June 7, the CDH tested the aquatic area of Crunch Fitness, but all of the samples came back negative.
“The hot tub only was tested because it is the only common link between all three patients,” Loveless said.
Loveless said the gym closed the spa area temporarily to fix anything problematic, and the issue was quickly resolved. The CDH does not believe there is a current public health risk due to the negative test results obtained at Crunch Fitness.
David Porter said he plans to take legal action against Crunch Fitness. While he has been out of the hospital for more than a month, his hospital bills came to about $90,000, and he is still having breathing difficulties.
“They need to be held accountable,” Porter said. “There’s a health crisis going on due to water supplies or people neglecting to maintain water supplies.”