HARRIS COUNTY. Texas -- A Cypress mother of two says she's spent the last three weeks in and out of hospitals. She says she's battling a rare infection from legionella bacteria, which is found in water.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, contracting legionella can lead to Legionnaires' Disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia and can be deadly.
At KHOU 11's request, Sarah Cruz sent photos of her in a hospital bed. Cruz says it's her second hospital visit since January.
Cruz's sister, Beatriz, met with KHOU 11 to explain what's happening with the 29-year old mother of two.
"The first time that she got sick, she thought that is was possibly the flu," said Beatriz.
But according to family, tests ruled out the possibility of the flu. The Cruz family says Sarah was discharged from the hospital and continued taking prescribed medications at home.
Beatriz says her sister's health continued to worsen, saying Sarah's fever spiked at 107 degrees.
She was admitted into a Houston hospital and "she’s been in there now two days," said Beatriz. "She hasn't been able to sleep. They’ve changed her medication two times, her antibiotics."
Sarah says an initial test showed she had pneumonia. A second test, taken from a urine sample, says Sarah, showed a positive result for Legionnaires.
"They found the bacteria in there," said Beatriz.
Sarah Cruz provided KHOU 11 with a photo of one of her medical documents. It states that she has "pneumonia of both lower lobes due to infection organism." It doesn't list the specific cause of the infection.
Beatriz posted to a Cypress neighborhood Facebook page Sunday in order to warn neighbors.
According to the CDC, legionella is found naturally in freshwater. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in man-made water systems, like showers, fountains and large plumbing systems.
That's why Legionnaires' is a reportable disease to local health departments which can then determine if the testing of a community's water supply is needed.
"I’m hoping that that’s not the case," said Beatriz. "I hope that the water is not contaminated."
KHOU 11 provided the Harris County Public Health Office with the photo Sarah Cruz took of her medical documents.
Monday afternoon, a county spokeswoman confirmed the paperwork didn't offer a clear answer as to whether or not Cruz contracted Legionaries'.
The county said one of its epidemiologists is now looking into the matter. KHOU 11 hopes to have an update to this story Tuesday.