Dozens Sickened at Playboy Mansion Fundraiser

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A fundraiser at Los Angeles' Playboy Mansion earlier this month may have caused dozens of attendees to become ill with flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems and pneumonia, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, citing Los Angeles public health officials.

The Feb. 3 fundraiser for DOMAINfest, held at Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's home in the Holmby Hills section of the city, may have led to dozens of people contracting a milder version of Legionnaire's disease, according to the newspaper. The bacteria that causes the disease can grow in hot tubs or air-conditioning systems -- and is contracted though water vapor. A fog machine used at the event may have been the cause, the publication said, citing some of the people who became ill.

Playboy Enterprises (PLA) spokeswoman Teri Thomerson tells DailyFinance the Playboy Mansion is cooperating fully with the Los Angeles County Public Health Department in its investigation..

Hefner has long used the Playboy Mansion to raise money for various causes for dozens of events every year. Hefner bought the 22,000-square-foot house in 1971 for about $1 million. The estate includes dozens of cages for Hefner's bird collection -- as well as the residence's infamous Grotto.

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