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Playboy Mansion Outbreak: About 100 Sickened by Virus

By Jason Beahm on February 15, 2011 8:52 AM

"I went to the Playboy Mansion but all I got was the flu, a fever, respiratory illness, pneumonia and violent headaches."

That's one idea I had for a very lame Playboy t-shirt, after over 100 people fell ill after attending a party at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion. They were in Santa Monica for the DOMAINfest Global conference, which featured an evening at the mansion. Despite what you might think, the outbreak was not related to any venereal diseases. In fact, the outbreak was allegedly linked to a fog machine, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

According to reports, four Swedish men wound up with Pontiac disease, which is quite serious. It's a milder form of Legionnaire's disease. Now the L.A. County Department of Public Health has been notified and is planning to investigate. They will be looking for the source of the illness that left so many sick.

It's all circumstantial evidence at this point, but it is at the very least, quite a coincidence that 100 people who all went to the mansion would wind up sick. Also given the features such as the Grotto and the reputation of the Playboy Mansion, it makes sense that such a disease could take root there. The bacterium required for Pontiac disease grows in warm water and can take root in hot tubs or parts of air-conditioning systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Naturally Playboy denies that the outbreak has anything to do with the Playboy Mansion, saying: "There is no truth in the rumor that anyone caught anything at the Playboy Mansion. Nor is there any evidence. None of the Playboy staff became ill, the deejay was in the middle of the fog and she didn't get ill," Playboy told the New York Post.

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