A Richmond, California, man died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease from sitting in a hot tub at a local spa.
The family of Ronald Oliver said he went to Zen Day Spa on July 19 and sat in the hot tub for five minutes during his visit, KGO-TV reported. He died a few days later from the infection.
“Despite our immediate actions after seeing mold, nine days of battling symptoms at home, and six days in the hospital fighting for his life on life-support, we lost Ronald on August 3,” the caption of a GoFundMe fundraiser created by Oliver’s partner said. “The loss has left our family shattered, but we are determined to honor Ronald’s memory and provide the best possible future for our children.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease is described as a “serious type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria.” People are exposed to it if they either breathe droplets or swallow water that has the bacteria, which infects the lungs. One in 10 people who contract the disease will die from it, the CDC shows.
Local county officials said that the spa has been shut down, adding that it was running illegally, KGO-TV reported. They are also probing if the disease came from the facility.
Another person passed away from Legionnaires’ disease after going to the spa. According to the report, when health officials reached out to more than 30 others who have gone there, two said they experienced symptoms and are recovering.
In the GoFundMe, which has raised $5,065 out of a $30,000 goal, the family said they will use the money for Oliver’s funeral and resources for his children, including their education.
Speaking about Oliver, Ian McPherson reflected on the close relationship with his childhood friend.
“My kids know him as Uncle,” McPherson told KGO-TV. “That is how close were were. We went to Lakeview Elementary together in Oakland. He got me my current job. He is a brother.”