By Kristina Rex

HAMPTON BEACH, N.H. (CBS) – The presence of bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ Disease at a Hampton Beach resort is sending some guests packing.

“I’m shocked,” said Greg Maunt of Connecticut when he found out the bacteria was discovered in the water system at his hotel, the Sands Resort.

On Sunday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services ordered the Sands Resort to take care of the problem immediately.

The Sands Resort in Hampton Beach, N.H. (WBZ-TV)

Signs warning current guests of the bacteria could be seen at the front counter and throughout the hotel hallways, according to guests who spoke to WBZ.

The owner of the Sands said in a prepared statement that clean-up efforts would begin on Wednesday, when crews will begin to “flush out” the system and remove “any signs of legionnella bacteria as well as algae” from the hotel’s water system.

Fourteen people in Hampton, N.H. have been diagnosed in recent weeks with the rare form of pneumonia, according to the CDC. One person died of complications. Nine of the diagnosed people were guests at the Sands Resort.

Hampton Beach, N.H. (WBZ-TV)

“We would also like everyone to know that we have estimated that between 3,000 – 4,000 men, women, teenagers and children have been here at the Sands during the month of August,” a representative at the Sands Resort Management Co. wrote. “Although, to date, 9 individuals who contracted Legionnaires Disease have visited the Sands, it does not prove in any way that they got the illness due to their stay at the Sands.”

In the prepared statement, the owner also criticized the CDC’s testing of the water in which it found the harmful bacteria, saying “in our opinion, the CDC did not let the water run long enough to get a proper reading.”

The presence of the harmful bacteria didn’t bother some guests. Tiffany Hamilton booked a month-long stay with her fiance and two young children, and said she still planned to bathe her son in the hotel water. “I’m not worried about it,” she said.

The CDC is still awaiting the results of bacteria testing at several other area hotels, meaning the Sands might not be the only place tested positive.

“We will continue to cooperate with all authorities as we strive to protect and take care of all our guests, visitors, and staff,” the hotel’s management wrote.


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