Legionnaires’ Disease at 2017 World Series of Poker VenueJune 13, 2017 11:12 am
The 48th World Series of Poker is currently in full swing at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with USA players and those from all around the world flocking to the venue in order to take part in the biggest poker tournament series of the calendar year. While the initial WSOP numbers appear as healthy as ever, one aspect that’s more concerning, however, is news that two guests have contracted Legionnaires’ Disease after staying at the Rio.
While incidences of the potentially fatal respiratory disease originally took place in March and April, a follow-up test last week revealed that traces of the Legionella pneumophila bacteria are still present in the Rio’s plumbing system. As a result, an emergency remediation process has already been initiated, while past and present guests have also been made aware of the situation. As a statement released by Richard Broome, executive VP of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications for Caesars Entertainment, explains:
“Test results on the water at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino indicated the presence of the Legionella bacteria. The company is working closely with the Southern Nevada Health District and taking aggressive remediation actions to ensure the safety of Rio’s water. Out of an abundance of caution, we are relocating guests from rooms where remediation actions are being undertaken.”
While high-temperature water and chlorine are now being used to clean the Rio’s rooms and water systems, fortunately there has been no reported incidences of the disease coming from the convention center area where thousands of players are currently taking part in the numerous tournaments organized by the WSOP. The health aspect of the situation has also been improved by the Rio providing sanitizers throughout the property, as well as clean drinking water being made available to players via water coolers and bottled water. As is explained on the UK National Health Service (NHS) website:
“The two things that legionella bacteria need to grow and reproduce are: a water temperature of 68-113F and impurities in the water that the bacteria can use for food, such as rust, algae, and limescale.”