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Officials scoop up bacteria bubbling away in Playboy hot tub

Possible cause for Domainfest outbreak

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An investigation into an outbreak of respiratory illness amongst techies who'd attended Domainfest has found legionella bacteria bubbling away in a hot tub at the Playboy mansion.

LA health officials investigated after at least 100 attendees at Domainfest became horribly ill. Fingers were pointed at both the conference venue, the Fairmont Miramar, and the Playboy mansion, which hosted an end-of-show party cum fundraiser for the conference. Both venues denied that they were the source of any outbreak.

The LA County Dept of Public Health said on Friday that "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."

It added that influenza virus was also being investigated – three attendees subsequently tested positive for flu.

The investigation was likely to continue for several months, with last week's announcement tied to a presentation highlighting the use of social networking in such investigations.

The Playboy organisation says it is cooperating with the investigation.

Given the habits of some techies, the Playboy organisation can probably count itself lucky that legionella was the only thing lingering in the hot tub. ®

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