Playboy Pleasure Palace Provides Pneumophila?

It seems like an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease (in a mild form, Pontiac Fever)  has occurred at the DOMAINFest this year at Santa Monica, California. Legionnaire’s disease  is caused by gram-negative bacterium, Legionlla pneumophila. Legionella typically inhabits the water tanks of central air conditioning systems, but any aerosolized  fresh water such as from fog machines or desert coolers, jacuzzis and breathing apparatuses may be a source. First identified in an American Legion conference in 1976,  it is now estimated that there are between 10,000 and 50,000 cases each year in the US alone.

Legionella pneumophila source: Wikipedia. Credit: US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

So what’s special about this outbreak? The delegates who got sick all attended a fundraiser held by Jenny McCarthy at the Playboy Mansion. Yup, the same lady who is so prominent and vocal in the anti-vaccination movement. The fundraiser was for her anti-vaccination foundation, Generation Rescue. The Playboy Mansion is now being investigated by Los-Angeles County health officials as the source of the outbreak. Although there is no vaccine for legionelliosis, the air is still quite thick with irony. As thick as it was with the aerosol from the fog machine that may have started it all.

(Or the outbreak may have started at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica where most of the conference sessions were held.)

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