Cate Cauguiran's picture

Thursday, May 18 2023 03.58

2 Legionnaire cases related to Niles LA Fitness

NILES, Ill. (WLS) — Two cases of Legionnaires' disease have been linked to the LA Fitness location in Niles, public health officials said.

Officials said the site has disinfected and cleaned the affected area, and the area will remain closed until the disease is no longer detected. But into Wednesday evening, the gym and locker rooms remained open and some members said they were worried.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating the gym on Touhy Avenue. They said LA Fitness closed its pool, spa, showers and steam rooms after learning about the case on May 5.

On Tuesday, testing by the county and state confirmed that Legionella bacteria had been found in hot tubs.

One gym member, who wished to remain anonymous, said given the seriousness of the illness, he felt more should be done to let members know.

“Pneumonia is serious any day, but the fact is, according to what I've read, people over 50 are at risk. This space is at risk of transmitting it and maybe 20 to 30% of people in the morning when we go to the gym are over 50,” he said.

Legionnaires' disease, while not contagious, is a serious lung infection that you can catch by inhaling small droplets of Legionella-contaminated water. This disease is treatable, but can be deadly.

“I want them to have a plan for these kinds of, you know, infections that are transmitted in their space,” said the gym member. “And I hope the two sick men, you know, take the time to tell them how disappointed they are.”

LA Fitness representatives told ABC7 they are working closely with public health officials and it could be weeks before affected areas reopen to members.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.