There you are enjoying a perfectly good party at the Playboy Mansion and sickness comes along and ruins all the fun. Who would’ve thought?

Scores of guests fell ill following a February celebration at his place. Two days after the event, some attendees succumbed to fever, respiratory problems and violent headaches. Four Swedish men were diagnosed with Pontiac fever, a mild form of Legionnaire’s Disease (LD).

During their investigation, Los Angeles County public health officials found Legionella bacteria in a water source at the estate.

Legionnaire’s Disease (LD) is a potentially fatal bacterial pneumonia first recognized after an American Legion conference in 1976 in Philadelphia. The CDC has estimated that LD affects 10,000 – 15,000 people per year in the U.S., and OSHA estimates are even higher. Most patients fully recover, but up to 20% of cases are fatal.

The disease is contracted by breathing in water droplets contaminated with the causative bacteria. Often the air conditioning system is a prime suspect, but Legionella bacteria are found in nearly any warm water environment – natural or man-made – including showerheads, faucets, whirlpools, air conditioners, humidifiers and heat-rejection devices. The culprit at the Playboy Mansion may have been a fog machine used at the party.

It just makes the case for keeping things clean and perfect working order. Don’t overlook the impact that a regular preventive maintenance program can have on your customers safety.