Gym Members Concerned After Legionnaires’ Outbreak

Posted on: 10:35 pm, July 2, 2013, by

(Memphis) Mack Smith works out three times a week at 24 Hour Fitness on Ridgeway, but  said his work to stay healthy may be making him sick.

“I’ve had pneumonia twice, and before I started coming here I never had pneumonia,” said Smith.

At least three people have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease, and according to a letter sent to gym members the health department appears to have traced it back to this gym – specifically the sauna and pool, where Legionella bacteria thrive.

“I’ve been having a lot of symptoms, respiratory, fatigue, nagging cough,” said Mack.

Dr. Helen Morrow from the health department says you catch Legionnaires’ from inhaling tainted water or mist, and it can happen almost anywhere, from pools to saunas to fountains that’s where you get it.

She says the only way to stop it is proper cleaning and disinfecting.

“All the other gyms I’ve worked out at, they have stuff all over to spray the equipment which they don’t have here, not that I can see,” said one unidentified gym member.

While some members are worried, others shrugged it off, saying germs are everywhere and you have to take steps to protect yourself.

“I go in with a towel all the time,” said Ed Trinh. “I do what I’ve got to do to take care of myself.”