The Playboy Mansion has definitely lost some of its luster of late, with reports that the sprawling estate has fallen into a crumbling state of disrepair—monkey carcasses floating in the Grotto, every surface blanketed by the fine ash of octogenarian dead skin cells, and the carpets worn threadbare by the constant worrying pacing of Hugh Hefner as he contemplates all those future 21-year-old girls he won’t get to marry, like a horny Miss Havisham. And not only has the once-exclusive house been forced to throw open its doors to germ-ridden commoners, now it’s possibly become tainted with disease—legionellosis, or Legionnaires’ disease, to be exact, which seems to have affected some 170 people who attended a recent fundraiser there.
The Los Angeles County health department was notified of the outbreak after dozens of people reported “symptoms mostly consisting of fever, chills, general discomfort (malaise) and some cough.” After some of those affected were diagnosed with legionellosis, officials have begun the long process of testing to see if that is, in fact, the root of their illness. According to speculation, the water-borne bacterium that causes the disease could have taken root in the Mansion's fog machines or hot tubs—and if it beat out all the other percolating infections in the latter, it’s basically a super bacterium and L.A. is doomed.
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