Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Health department investigates legionellosis outbreak at Clearwater retirement center

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater retirement center is under investigation after two residents were diagnosed last month with legionellosis, previously known as Legionnaires' disease.

The cases occurred at the Regency Oaks retirement community at 2720 Regency Oaks Blvd. The facility reported the incidents to the Florida Department of Health.

Legionellosis is a respiratory illness that spreads through mist or water vapor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and occurs most often in aquatic settings where the water is warm and somewhat stagnant. Complications can include lung failure and death.

The infected Clearwater residents were treated at an area hospital. One was released and the other is "responding to treatment," Regency Oaks executive director Brant Spence said.

The bacterial disease, which does not spread through human contact, was found in residents who live in different parts of the two-building complex. Investigators are still determining the source of the outbreak, but believe it may have been a hot tub, Florida Department of Health spokeswoman Maggie Hall said.

"At this point, we consider the investigation still open. We're monitoring for any new cases," Hall said.

Still, Regency Oaks isn't taking any chances, Spence said.

"We've never had a (legionellosis) outbreak before, so we've just been trying to keep in close communication with residents," he said.

As a safety precaution, Regency Oaks closed its pool and spa, and has begun using a special washing process for all produce served in its dining facilities. Regency Oaks has 416 residents.

The name of the disease is derived from an outbreak in Philadelphia in 1976 among people attending an American Legion convention. That was the first time the bacterium that causes the disease was identified.

Matt McKinney can be reached at or at (727) 445-4156,

Health department investigates legionellosis outbreak at Clearwater retirement center 07/01/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando's assistant county administrator over public works resigns

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County has taken another hit in its public works operation with the resignation this week of Brian Malmberg, the assistant county administrator over several departments.

  2. Enjoy the felines, ancient ruins at Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Rome



    We had to be in the right spot. The GPS said so.

    The Area Sacra at Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome is the site of ancient ruins and the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. More than 140 cats call this area home. Some live in the indoor shelter.
  3. Bar review: Seminole Heights City Wine Bar in Tampa


    One of the best spots to grab a drink in Ybor is the Ybor City Wine Bar. It's easily the largest beer selection in Ybor despite being obviously wine-centric, and the extensive wine selection comes with a side of expert staff to help smartly walk you through a long and unusually formatted wine list that separates wines …

    Intermediate sommelier Drew Drotleff chats with guests at the Seminole Heights City Wine Bar. There’s a relaxed conviviality that makes enjoying wine all the better. The first City Wine Bar is in Ybor City.
  4. Nearly local craft beer of the week: Rome City IPA from Lakeland's Brew Hub

    Bars & Spirits

    As popular as the American IPA is, it's hardly surprising that it has been the canvas for many of the most prominent beer trends of the past few years: session IPA, New England-style IPA, sour IPA, single malt and single hop IPA — even coffee IPA.

    Brew Hub
  5. Ouch: Red Sox first pitch hits cameraman in the groin (w/video)


    Ceremonial first pitches at baseball games are often painful to watch, but this one turned out to be literally painful for a cameraman.