The New York Post is reporting that "Hugh Hefner's iconic bachelor pad is under investigation after more than 80 guests at a conference and party there became sick with a suspected strain of Legionnaires' disease."
The attendees of DOMAINfest 2011 capped off their three-day conference at the Playboy Mansion on February 3. According to network KTLA, "Within 48 hours after leaving the mansion, scores of attendees reported coming down with symptoms including fever, respiratory problems and violent headaches.... Four Swedish men who attended the event were diagnosed with Legionellosis or pontiac fever, a milder form of Legionnaires' caused by bacteria that thrives in warm air-conditioning systems, according to the [Los Angeles] Times."
The suspect? A fog machine used at the party. In a study published in the May 2005 American Journal of Industrial Medicine,
Chronic work-related wheezing and chest tightness were significantly associated with increased cumulative exposure to fogs (mineral oil and glycols) over the previous 2 years. Acute cough and dry throat were associated with acute exposure to glycol-based fogs; increased acute upper airway symptoms were associated with increased fog aerosol overall. Lung function was significantly lower among those working closest to the fog source.
That said, the L.A. County Department of Public Health is also investigating the Fairmont Hotel, where the conference first commenced. Meanwhile, a Playboy spokesman points out to the New York Post that neither the staff nor the deejay in the midst of the fog has become sick, though the company is cooperating fully with the health department. And in a statement for the ages, the spokesman added that "there is no truth in the rumor that anyone caught anything at the Playboy Mansion."
Ever? Even after swimming in the grotto?