Despite a couple of mainstream media articles written today that appear to indicate legionella (the bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease and Pontiac Fever) as the cause of the illness that may have impacted DomainFest attendees, there has been no confirmation from the Health Department or the CDC.
I know Shane received his test results, and they indicated that he was infected with Pontiac Fever. However, the health department still has not made any determination about what the cause of this illness was, nor how people may have become infected.
I was very sick for a few days after returning from DomainFest, and I was even mentioned in an Associated Press article that was distributed widely. The running joke was that the AP said I “succumbed” to the illness, and a number of comments were made on various sites (like the Boston Globe) asking how I was quoted if I had died.
Anyway, I had some bloodwork done a little over a week ago, and I need to go back in a couple of weeks for more blood work to see if I have antibodies built up, which may indicate what caused me to become sick.
Here’s today’s press release from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
As reported previously, on February 11, the Department of Public Health was notified of a suspected respiratory infection outbreak among attendees of the DOMAINfest Global Conference held in Santa Monica on February 1-3, 2011. To date, approximately 200 individuals associated with this conference have reported illness with symptoms mostly consisting of fever, chills, general discomfort (malaise) and some cough.
In the course of its ongoing investigation, Public Health has identified Legionella bacteria in a sample taken from a water source at the Playboy Mansion, where a social event connected with the conference occurred. This does not however confirm Legionella as the source of the illness, as Legionella bacteria are commonly found in moist or wet environments. “We are still considering several possible causes of illness,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer.
Public Health is continuing to work with surrounding county health departments, the California Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate this suspected outbreak.
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