An outbreak of Legionnaires Disease in June at 24 Hour Fitness in East Memphis has sparked a multi-million dollar lawsuit and an inquiry from the Shelby County Commission.
Three people caught the disease at the fitness club from the spa and steam room. The disease infects the lungs and can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, and high fever.
On Wednesday, the county commission wanted to know how the fitness patrons caught the disease.
"I think it behooves us to find out what's going on and make sure there are proper controls in place, reassure the public and make sure we're healthy," said Commissioner Heidi Shafer.
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld said a cost-benefit analysis makes Legionnaires Disease hard to prevent.
"To go about eradicating Legionella from a city would be a tremendous cost and probably not very effective," Dr. Threlkeld said. "It's not a germ you can rid a town of."
Legionnaires Disease was named after a 1976 outbreak at the Philadelphia Convention of the American Legion.
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