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Palm Desert Hotel Patrons Evaluated Following Breathing Issues From Unidentified Vapor

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Palm Desert, CA -

More than a dozen people were evaluated by medics at a Palm Desert hotel today -- with three patients said to be in serious condition -- after experiencing difficulty breathing near one of the pools at the resort, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

County fire crews were sent around 3 p.m. to the Marriott Shadow Ridge Resort due to a ``possible chemical vapor'' near the lower south swimming pool, possibly leading to the respiratory problems experienced by 13 people in the pool area, according to fire department spokeswoman April Newman.

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Three patients were exhibiting serious symptoms, while three had moderate symptoms and seven had minor symptoms, Newman said. Nine of the patients, all children, were taken to a hospital, Newman said. Those patients included the three in serious condition, three in moderate condition and three of those experiencing minor symptoms.

The fire department was brought in to evaluate the patients, while fire crews also summoned a hazardous materials team to investigate the source of the vapor. According to Newman, crews were investigating whether a ``pool malfunction'' contributed to the illnesses, but the fire department did not
elaborate on what kind of malfunction was suspected.

The county health department will be taking over the investigation.

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