Legionella Not Yet Confirmed as The Source of The Illness

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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Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. The Department of Health was all over me the last few days. They want my samples sent overnight. I had to answer all kinds of questions. My doctor (my friend) is getting a kick out of it. He said I’ve never had such an important patient. This must be the kind of thing that the CDC dreams of. They certainly have labeled me ground zero and said I was the first confirmed case. Fortunately I kicked it with my Adonis DNA and biwinning personality. I’m tired of acting like I’m not special.

  2. @ Elliot

    LGS is coomonly spread via air borne …

    (smoke machine?) (air ducts)

    Samples found In the water (Ice,etc)

    I still have not have heard anyone report

    “Throat Culture Results” this method of detection

    is the only true source of discovery, yet rarely used?

    Did you get one, Elliot ????

  3. I just got off the phone with the LA Dept of Health and nobody, not one single person has tested positive for legionella. Not one. My diagnosis was an opinion. There is not actually a test for Pontiac Fever. There is no doubt that people were subjected to something but most likely it wasn’t legionella. Just thought I would clear this up since I am partially responsible for putting out bad info. Sorry for the long comment but I’m tired of writing articles on this.

  4. The Reason being Blood work is a poor indicator as MANY BAC and VIR cultures that are LIVE in moist body Cavity / Joints and will
    not be detected via blood work …

    When fresh, a low cost Throat Culture would have detected the thriving culture in routine Lab Results.

    BUT… that does not cost THOUSANDS to check your
    red and white count does it, after all someone has to
    pay the expensive country golf club THERE FEES 🙂

  5. An interesting unknown fact 🙂

    None of the Indians who attended fell sick. Great immune system 🙂

    btw, Can the ppl. who feel sick sue Playboy?

  6. An interesting unknown fact 🙂

    None of the Indians who attended fell sick. Great immune system 🙂

    btw, Can the ppl. who fell sick sue Playboy?

  7. As Jay Leno said, no surprises there : when partying at the playboy mansion it should be expected to catch something… 🙂

  8. @ LindaM

    LOL… was packing for a trip last night and didn’t get a chance to reply.

    @ Landon

    I did not get the throat culture done. Long story short was that by the time the throat culture test was discussed, I was feeling significantly better and already had antibiotics. My doctor doesn’t do that test, so it would have been a hassle to get it done, and I figured the blood work was the better option for me.

    @ Nick

    You guys lucked out!

    Not sure about the legal aspect, though I suspect there will be some people looking into it.


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