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Health officials investigate 3rd case of Legionnaires' disease at Waikīkī hotel

Henryk Niestrój

The state Department of Health is investigating an additional case of Legionnaires’ disease in a guest who stayed at The Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in Waikīkī.

The visitor was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease on April 2. They stayed at the Grand Islander from March 18 to 25, the department said.

This marks the third person diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following a stay at the hotel. The first case was diagnosed in June 2021 and the second case was diagnosed on March 6 or 7, 2022.

“While the risk to the general public is low, cases of Legionnaires’ disease are on the rise nationwide,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.

A spokesperson at The Grand Islander said in a statement, “While it is not yet known how or where this individual was infected, our team is working cooperatively with the Hawaii Department of Health as an investigation is conducted. The health and safety of our owners, guests and team members is our top priority.”

Health officials said the hotel carried out mitigation measures on March 22. All three people stayed at the hotel prior to the completion of mitigation measures, according to health officials.

Water samples collected in March indicated a potential for legionella growth within the building’s potable water system, the health department said. The investigation is ongoing.

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria. The bacteria can spread in freshwater systems such as showerheads and sink faucets, hot tubs and large plumbing systems.

Most healthy people exposed to the bacteria do not develop Legionnaires' disease. The disease is treated with antibiotics and cannot spread from person to person.

Symptoms usually begin within two to 14 days of exposure and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headache.

Call 808-586-4586 to reach DOH’s Disease Outbreak and Control Division Disease Reporting Line or click here to report an illness.

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