County officials: Another case of Legionnaires' no cause for concern

County officials: Another case of Legionnaires' no cause for concern

A man from Euclid is stepping forward, saying he has Legionnaires' disease.

Moses Harris contacted 19 Action News after seeing our report about Robin Nahrstedt, of Cleveland, on Sunday. 

Nahrstedt told us he had been battling Legionnaires' disease, plus has had a fever, muscle aches, cough and weakness associated with the disease.

"Other people are worried they are going to get it from me. I'm like getting ostracized. 'Don't breathe on me. Don't sit next to me.' They could be right," said Nahrstedt.

Harris contacted us to share the letter he got from the health department, adding that he knows Nahrstedt. Both were concerned about the outbreak in New York that has now claimed 12 lives. They also worried about the 53-year-old woman in Brunswick who recently died from Legionnaires' disease.

"There's gotta be something because I've got four cases that I've heard of that come from the same place," said Harris.

But Chris Kippes, from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, says there's no cause for alarm. He says that so far this year, there's been 34 cases reported in 19 different communities, and that's about the norm.

"The number of cases that we currently have seen in our jurisdiction are within the normal range we've seen over the past five years," said Kippes.

Kippes added there's no connection that's been found between the cases here. 

"The information that we have does not suggest a common exposure amongst the cases that we are seeing here locally," explained Kippes.

People who smoke, have weakened immune systems or have a history of COPD are more likely to contract the disease. Harris says misinformation about how the disease is spread has cost him more than his health; he says his girlfriend even left him over it.

"I'm hoping that the people are educated that you can't get it from that person and that person," said Harris.
Heath experts say Legionnaires' disease is contracted through contact with contaminated industrial air conditioning systems, whirlpool spas and showers.
One thing you can do to reduce your risk of being exposed to the bacteria at home is make sure your hot water tank is set above 140 degrees.

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