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Inn and Conference Center Closes Pool and Spa as Precaution After Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease

EMSL Analytical offers rapid PCR and traditional culturing methods to identify the microbial pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease from environmental samples.

Minneapolis, MN – WEBWIRE

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began an investigation into four cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with an inn and convention center in Polk County. Four people have been identified who became ill between January 22nd and the 27th. Each reported spending time at the inn and convention center prior to their illnesses; however, none of the ill people were overnight guests at the hotel.

According to a MDH news release:

MDH investigators are working with the hotel to determine what the source of the Legionella bacteria may be. At this time, early evidence and past experience suggests the source of the infections is the hotel’s spa. Spas are often found to be the source of Legionnaires’ outbreaks due to their temperature and ability to aerosolize the Legionella bacteria in small water droplets. Hotel management has temporarily closed the spa and pool area to guests. MDH staff are working with hotel staff to clean and decontaminate the spa and pool facility.

“The decision to shut down the pool and spa until Legionella tests could be completed is a wise decision,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The bacteria are typically found in water and if a person breathes contaminated water droplets or mists they could become infected. Preventing exposure to Legionella is important as infections can cause serious illnesses and even death in some circumstances.”

In February, USA Today published an article stating that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between 2000 and 2017 there was a fivefold increase in the number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease. The testing company has two laboratories in Minneapolis and dozens more across the United States and Canada. EMSL offers traditional culturing methods and rapid PCR and Whole Genome Sequencing test methods to identify Legionella from environmental samples. Over twenty of EMSL’s laboratories have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from the agency’s Elite Program for Legionella testing and another five locations are NYSDOH ELAP Legionella certified laboratories.

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about Legionella and spas that can be seen at:

To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit or, email  or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Legionnaires’ Disease
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