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Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/27/2022
Author Paul Cochrane
Title The Pathogen that Causes Legionnaires’ Disease Discovered in a Spa Filter at a Hotel in San Jose
Introduction LA Testing offers PCR and traditional culturing methods to quickly and accurately identify the microbial pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever from environmental samples.

Huntington Beach, CA, September 27, 2022 

The County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department (PHD) recently released a joint statement about a case involving two individuals that stayed at a hotel in San Jose and later developed Legionnaires’ disease. In it, DEH reported sampling various sources in and around the spa and pool of the hotel. A sample from the spa filter came up positive for Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

The couple reportedly spent multiple days in a hospital before recovering from the infection that can be fatal. The hotel spa has been temporarily closed so it can be properly treated to eliminate the bacteria before it is resampled. 

Legionella can be found naturally in the environment and in some man-made environments, typically in water. These man-made sources include cooling towers, potable water systems, hot tubs, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and decorative fountains. People can become infected if they inhale contaminated water droplets or mist, causing some vulnerable individuals to come down with Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever.

“This case highlights the importance of always having pools and spas properly chlorinated,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Proactive environmental testing for Legionella can also help to prevent infections and sampling after an illness has been confirmed is crucial for pinpointing the source of Legionella to prevent new cases.”

LA Testing, with multiple laboratories in California, offers laboratory services and specialized sampling supplies to detect Legionella and many other microbial pathogens from environmental samples. They have even sponsored an educational video about Legionella and spas that can be seen at: 

To learn more about Legionella and other aquatic or environmental testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor environmental quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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