A South Asian woman in a white lab coat and a white man wearing a jacket with the Contra Costa County logo standing in front of a closed day spa

County Health Officials Looking for Other Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease

A South Asian woman in a white lab coat and a white man wearing a jacket with the Contra Costa County logo standing in front of a closed day spa

Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Meera Sreenivasan and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia in front of Zen Day Spa in Richmond on Monday. Two spa patrons died of Legionnaires’ disease after recent visits. (Supervisor John Gioia via Bay City News)

By Tony Hicks
Bay City News

Health officials are looking for people who may have been at the Zen Day Spa in Richmond over the past two weeks, which was visited by three people — including two who died last week — who recently contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chairperson John Gioia, who represents Richmond on the board, said Monday that it’s critical for anyone who visited the spa come forward immediately.

Gioia is also calling on Contra Costa Health to investigate and identify unpermitted spas throughout the county. He said Zen Day Spa didn’t have the required county environmental health permit from the health department and he’s waiting to find out if it had a required use permit from the city of Richmond.

“Right now, the emphasis is tracking down people who were there the past two weeks,” Gioia said. “It’s a bit like contact tracing.”

The spa was closed Friday after two people died on Thursday and Friday. Health officials said both people had visited the spa, at 12230 San Pablo Ave., just days before getting sick.

A third person, who used the jacuzzi at the spa in June, has recovered from the disease.

Gioia said officials are also looking at the building’s ventilation system and whether the bacteria — which is usually transmitted by air — could have spread into two adjacent businesses.

Health officials are still awaiting lab test results to confirm whether the spa was indeed the source of transmission.

The bacteria is found natural freshwater sources such as lakes and streams and can cause a severe form of pneumonia when people breathe in contaminated water droplets, such as mist in a hot tub or via the use of hoses, according to CCH.

Legionnaires’ disease doesn’t typically spread from person to person and is treatable with antibiotics. Seniors, smokers, chronic lung disease patients and other immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk of Legionnaires’ disease.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, chills and cough.

Anyone who visited the Zen Day Spa over the past two weeks should contact Contra Costa Health’s Communicable Disease Division at (925) 313-6740.

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