A San Jose, California resort is closing after a couple contracted Legionnaires’ disease

SAN JOSE, CA. — Bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease have been found in a hotel spa in San Jose, California.

Santa Clara County health officials confirmed they tested the pool and hot tub at the Aloft San Jose Cupertino after a couple staying at a contracted Legionnaires hotel.

The resort is currently closed and is being decontaminated.

Long Beach residents Dan and Rita Miles visited San Jose on June 25th and 26th. The trip was meant to be a warm welcome for their youngest daughter and her out-of-state family.

“We actually looked at it and said, ‘Now that the weather’s warm, why don’t we stop at a hotel near your house and use the pool and hot tub and things like that,'” Dan told the ABC San Francisco affiliate. KGO.

Days later, the couple’s 911 call landed at a Long Beach hospital, where both were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

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“At one o’clock in the morning on Saturday, I heard Dan go to the bathroom. He walked past our bed and I could hear him breathing hard. And I realized, ‘Oh my god!’ “Don’t call 911, it’s just the two of us here,” Rita recalled. “She can’t call 911. We need help.”

They had experienced fatigue, stomach ache, fever, etc. in the previous days. These are symptoms that the couple initially thought could be food poisoning.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I’m just tired. This is going to pass,’ so I didn’t go to the emergency room,” Dan said. “Honestly, I don’t remember Wednesday.”

Rita said they were both severely dehydrated. Dan’s kidney was severely damaged and later repaired.

“When I went to the emergency room, my urine was red,” Rita described. “And the doctor looked at him and said, ‘You’re severely dehydrated.'”

A nurse named Rita spent five days in the hospital. Dan spent nine days in the hospital, four of which were on a ventilator.

X-rays revealed Dan’s lungs were completely white, the couple said.

“People are like, ‘I know he’s testing negative for COVID.’ It must be COVID. These are the COVID lungs. “They were saying, ‘These are the COVID lungs,'” Rita recalled. “Actually, it’s not. It’s bacteria from legionellosis. And it’s bacteria that grows in your lungs.”

The couple said their three daughters immediately contacted Santa Clara County Public Health officials and the Aloft San Jose Cupertino after recalling their late June visit.

The county has since tested the hotel’s pool and hot tub.

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A joint response from the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (PHD):

“After receiving a complaint about a possible Legionella outbreak at the Aloft San Jose Cupertino pool and spa areas, DEH immediately began an investigation. DEH inspected the pool and spa areas, which are DEH-permitted areas. An environmental specialist collected samples. California Public Health from hotel swimming pools, spas, fill pipes, and recirculation equipment as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in consultation with the Department of Conservation.

Among the samples collected at the hotel, a sample taken from a spa filter confirmed the presence of Legionella (Legionella pneumophila), which was confirmed by the test results. The resort is closed as it undergoes a special decontamination process recommended by the CDC. Once the decontamination process is complete, the hotel will notify the DEH and the resort will be sampled to test for legionella before the resort is allowed to reopen. No additional cases related to the hotel have been reported to the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health.”

As of August 2022, SCCPHD has confirmed nine cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Santa Clara County. 9.

Cases are reported based on the individual’s county of residence, so the nine reported cases in Santa Clara County do not include Maylar.

Official testing with KGO found no levels of chlorine in water samples collected at the Aloft in San Jose Cupertino.

Such disinfectants are needed to reduce the risk of spreading germs such as legionella.

RELATED: Napa County officials say Legionnaires’ disease has been reported at 2 more sites

A portion of the official inspection, shared with KGO, noted that “there are no additional chlorine or muriatic containers on site for manual maintenance of the spa.”

The table facilities/pool service employee said in the document, “They ran out of chemicals and asked the pool service company to bring in more, due to the shortage the chemicals were due 5/7/22.”

In response, Rita shared, “Don’t let that be the reason you didn’t get it inspected. Just because you didn’t chlorinate it doesn’t mean you don’t need to inspect your pool. You have to have records. Keep. This is people’s lives, we’re dealing with it.

Moving forward, he plans to put chlorine test strips in his suitcase — a level of security he hopes hotel staff will take seriously during future stays.

Meanwhile, recovery continues for Dan. He has lost 45 pounds since his diagnosis.

RELATED: 2 Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease Linked to Chicago Hotel

“I’m going to start doing physical exercises and things like that around the house,” she said. “I’m fine between 1 and 2 in the afternoon. But every day I push myself a little bit further.”

The two celebrate the work their daughters have done to reach Long Beach and Santa Clara County health officials and the hotel.

“We raised three beautiful girls,” shared Dan.

KGO has reached out to Aloft San Jose Cupertino and the Marriott for comment, but has yet to hear back.

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