Northern Health has completed the routine inspections of hotels in Valemount and has found no sources of defective or poorly disinfected water-based facilities that may have led to Legionnaires’ disease.

They say they believe this was an isolated case and there is no need for concern.

Earlier this week Valemount hot tub was blamed for a case of Legionnaire’s disease that resulted in an Edmonton man being in a coma.

The man spent part of the Christmas holidays sledding in Valemount, after which he became severely ill. He was later diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease, a bacterial infection caused by breathing in spores usually from an aquatic breeding ground. While extremely rare and not contagious (new spores must be inhaled) the bacteria can be fatal in 5-15 per cent of cases according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Dr. William Osei, Medical Health Officer for Northern Health say they have no evidence to support the infection coming from a Valemount pool.

One of the ill man’s friends reported in the sled and off-road vehicle forum that he likely became ill after being in a hot tub during his trip. He did not say where his friend had stayed.

In an interview on Monday Osei said they had not yet established where the man had stayed in Valemount, but suggested it may have come from a private cabin.

“If it was a big hotel there would likely be more people affected,” Osei said. “So it must be a smaller exposure.”

All hotels and B&Bs that offer hot tubs must send in monthly water samples to ensure their cleanliness.

These results are posted online but recent figures are not yet available for public viewing.

Osei said Monday that no pool in Valemount has reported malfunction.

The public health inspector Ivan Rukavina visited hotels in Valemount on Tuesday to ensure proper maintenance of pool facilities.

He said it is not yet certain where the man contracted the bacteria. The bacteria is also known to breed in air conditioning or ventilation systems in large sealed buildings.

If anyone has any questions they should call 250-565-2150 and ask for an environmental health officer.

Image: ahmet guler /