Playboy Mansion Illness Reported Through Social Media Traced to Hot Tub

Stacey Doyle's picture

After attendees at a Playboy Mansion conference in February became ill, investigators recently found Legionella bacteria in the whirlpool at the manse.

A number of revelers took ill after the DomainFest conference at the Playboy Mansion from February 1-3. The conference ended with a fundraiser at the world famous Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. After the conference officials investigated to see if legionellosis was at fault and the water supply at the mansion was blamed.

The Toronto Sun reports investigators found Legionella bacteria in the whirlpool at the Playboy Mansion. A sample was taken from a water body at the manse, which is how the bacteria was discovered. About 200 attendees got sick after the fundraiser party.

Despite the findings in the hot tub, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials stated on Friday that bacteria has “not been determined at the source of the respiratory outbreak.” After the party, attendees complained of pneumonia and flu-like symptoms. All the party goers have since recovered.

Over 700 people attended the party at Hugh Hefner's estate in California. The investigation still continues. A spokesperson for Playboy stated they are cooperating with the health investigators who contacted the mansion.

According to the LA Times, L.A. County public health officials contacted 439 people and 123 were sick with fever and other symptoms such as cough, aches, shortness of breath or headache. On February 5, a total of 69 people got ill.

Social media was used to get the word out after the fund raising party. Health investigators took to Twitter, Facebook and blogs to get an outline survey sent to all of the 715 conference attendees. The revelers travelers from 30 countries and 79 reported they were sick through social media.

Legionella bacteria is linked to Legionnaire's disease and a milder version called Pontiac fever. Several party-goers indicated they were diagnosed with legionellosis but county officials were unable to verify the diagnosis through a lab analysis. Three of the people who attended the conference tested positive for the H1N1 flu.

Now that legionella bacteria was found in the whirlpool at the Playboy Mansion, officials indicated exposure to the manse was “associated with increased risk for illness” and possibly involves either the flu or Legionella pneumophila bacteria.

According to a statement made by the L.A. County Department of Public Health late Friday, “Though Legionella bacteria was identified in a water sample taken from the Playboy Mansion, this bacteria has not been determined as the source of the respiratory outbreak. Other potential causes under investigation include influenza, as three individuals who attended the conference tested later positive for the flu. However, the cause of the outbreak has not been conclusively determined at this time. Investigations such as this one can take several months.”

The results went public at the annual U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service conference in Atlanta, Georgia during a presentation made by L.A. County health officials.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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