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Benton-Franklin Health District is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in members of Gold’s Gym in Kennewick. The gym is helping in the investigation being conducted by the Health District with the assistance of the Washington Department of Health.

The patients, both local women in their 70s and 80s, have been discharged from the hospital and are recovering. The investigation into the source of the infection is ongoing, but no other commonalities between the two cases have been identified so far.

“We appreciate the response from Kennewick Gold’s Gym when we notified them of the possible connection,” said Rick Dawson, Senior Manager of Surveillance and Investigation. “They acted quickly and decisively to close down the pool and hot tub area in an abundance of caution.”

Samples from the gym will be tested and results are expected in the next couple of weeks. The facility is working with the Health District to ensure the pool and hot tub area is sanitized before reopening.

Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling aerosol droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria Legionella. Sources of the aerosol can include showers, hot tubs, faucets, cooling towers, misters and decorative fountains. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. Most people exposed to Legionella will not get sick; however, it can cause severe illness and sometimes result in death. Generally, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease to other people. Legionnaires’ disease symptoms are very similar to other types of pneumonia and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches.

Symptoms will usually begin within two to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria. People who are at increased risk of getting sick include:
  • People 50 years or older
  • Current or former smokers
  • People with chronic lung disease
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People who take drugs that can weaken their immune systems (after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
  • People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure

Anyone with additional questions can contact the Health District at 509-460-4200, Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

More information on Legionnaire’s disease is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/legionella/index.html.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you get a permit to sell food at community events?
A: Temporary food permits are issued by our office. See www.bfhd.wa.gov/eh/fstfse.php for more information.

Q: Is West Nile virus active in our community?
A: Yes. Please check www.bfhd.wa.gov/wnv for more information and for tips to Fight The Bite.

Q: How to apply for the Washington Health Program?

Q: Where are your offices?
A: We now have 2 offices.
Kennewick 7102 W Okanogan Pl
Pasco 412 W Clark

Q: When are you open?
A: Our hours are listed on each page of the website just under the main menu. Some services are not available during all hours, please call 460 4200 for more information

Q: How do I get a Food Handler’s Card?
A: Food Handler Card Classes are held Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Call (509) 460-4205 to make an appointment for the class.

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Benton Franklin Health District
7102 W Okanogan Pl
Kennewick WA
(509) 460 4200
412 W Clark
Pasco WA
(509) 547-9737

Emergency Contact Information

Personal Emergency for Medical, Police, Fire, or Other: 911
Washington Poison Center: 1 (800) 222-1222 (www.wapc.org)
Washington Community Resource Information: 211 (www.win211.org)
BFHD Public Health Emergency/Imminent Health Hazard After-Hours Reporting: 509-543-3851
The public can reference BFHD policies available in Kennewick office.
BFHD Privacy Statement:English / Spanish
Copies of the annual report available at all BFHD offices.
State and County Resources
Rules and Regulations Administered by or Governing the Benton-Franklin Health District
WAC's - RCW's
Community Health Status Indicators
Reportable Conditions
Contact: info(at)bfhd.wa.gov                                                                                                                             Employees