Updates on Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Some Mexico Timeshare Resorts

Last summer, two Mexico timeshare resorts dealt with what appeared to be cases of Legionnaires disease. Several cases, all since confirmed as Legionnaires disease, were diagnosed in tourists from the US or the Netherlands, who were guests at the Regency Club Vacation Resort or the Wyndham Cozumel Resort & Spa (formerly Reef Club Cozumel).

According to the US State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council, nine cases of Legionnaires disease have been confirmed since May 2008 among tourists at these resorts. A public health investigation in April 2010, recommended disinfection of the resort’s shared potable water system. Although this was done, in December 2010, the CDC was notified of a ninth case of the disease that was believed to have originated at the resort.

Wyndham Cozumel Resort & Spa, An All-Inclusive Mexico timeshare resortTypically, the source of exposure for contracting Legionnaires disease is by breathing in contaminated mist or vapor such as from a showerhead, spray mister, or hot tub; the disease is not spread directly person to person. In the US every year, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with the bacteria infection. Because it begins as a lung infection, persons most at risk of developing Legionnaires are the elderly, smokers, people with chronic lung conditions, or otherwise compromised immune systems. A milder version of the disease, caused by the same bacteria, is called Pontiac fever.

For more information about Legionella, go to the: CDC’s Legionellosis Resource Site.

It is important to note that risk of contracting the disease is low as indicated by how few cases actually develop, and that cases of Legionnaires have not been linked to any other Mexico timeshare resorts or Cozumel timeshare resorts.