YMCA closes hot tub after reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease


The Waco-McLennan County Health District is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease. They believe it could be linked to a hot tub at a Waco YMCA.

The facility on Harvey Drive is still open to the public but the hot tub is taped and closed off until investigators find where exactly the bacteria came from.

Shakil Ahmed says he doesn’t skip a workout at the YMCA.

“I normally come the entire week. All 7 days,” Ahmed said. “I don’t do a whole lot. Just light exercises, the treadmill and a little weights.”

Ahmed was one of several members who got a notice from the YMCA CEO about two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease, linking back to the hot tub at the facility.

“If that’s the case because of that, you will have lots of incidents. Not just one or two isolated ones,” Ahmed said. “So I am thinking they could have gotten it.”  

“We are not saying that it’s where the people exactly got legionnaires but in general hot tubs are a risk,” Waco-McLennan County Health District Kelly Craine said. “So it’s better we keep it closed until we wrap up the investigation.”

Health officials say the two cases were reported in January. Both patients had links to the YMCA, saying they used the hot tub before getting sick.

“it’s considered a form of pneumonia. So that means you’ll have trouble breathing, you’re going to have a fever and coughing,” Craine said. 

Right now, a company is testing the water systems throughout the facility trying to find where the bacteria originally came from.
“It’s very easy for people to inhale that mist and that’s how you develop Legionnaires’, you have to breathe it in. Typically through water droplets, small water droplets like the ones you find in a hot tub,” Craine said.

In the meantime, health officials asking the public to visit your doctor if you’ve used the hot tub.

“This is a public place where a lot of people come and it could be a widespread thing,” Ahmed said.

This is the first case of Legionnaires’ disease reported in McLennan County this year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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