- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles County health officials have found the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease at the Playboy Mansion after 200 people who attended an event there last month became ill.

The Los Angeles Times reports Tuesday that Legionella bacteria was discovered in a water source at the Holmby Hills estate of Hugh Hefner.

County public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding says, however, that officials haven’t ruled out that other bacteria or illnesses could have caused the outbreak.

Legionnaires’ disease causes respiratory illness and its symptoms include coughing, malaise, chills and fever. Fewer than 18,000 Americans are hospitalized for the illness every year.

The outbreak occurred following a conference that ran from Feb. 1 to 3 and included a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com