A gun show scheduled to take place at the WNC Ag Center this weekend has been canceled amid concerns about Legionnaires’ disease, show organizers say.
Asheville Gun and Knife Show organizer Mike Kent said WNC Ag Center Manager Matt Buchanan contacted him on Wednesday afternoon to notify him of the cancellation.
Kent said Buchanan told him canceling the event was the best thing to do, pending final testing for legionellosis.
The Mountain State Fair closed its 2019 run in mid-September. It is held at the WNC Ag Center just like the gun show. Since then, over 100 cases of Legionnaire’s Disease has been traced to fair visitors. The age range of those infected goes from 24 years old to 90. There has been one death attributed to it and 65% of those infected have been hospitalized.
The CDC says Legionella is a freshwater bacteria that is spread as contaminated water droplets are aerosolized and then inhaled. Thus, anything from a water fountain to an air conditioning system could spread the bacteria.
I can’t say that I’m upset by this. I planned to man the Grass Roots North Carolina booth on Saturday and Sunday. The thought that the exposition building might be contaminated had crossed my mind.
State health officials have found Legionnella bacteria in the Davis Event Center of the WNC Ag Center. This was to have been the location of the Asheville Gun and Knife Show.
In a conference call with the media, state health officials said 124 cases have been outlined three conclusions. People who were diagnosed were more likely to have been in the Davis Event Center, more likely to have walked by hot tub displays at the building and likely to have attended the latter half of the Mountain State Fair.
Officials also stated that a positive sample of Legionella bacteria was found in a women’s restroom at the Davis Center. The sample was taken before last week’s Asheville Quilt Show, but was not discovered to be positive until after the show, which drew thousands of people. Experts did not believe that sample posed a threat to the public.