Authorities Confirm Outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease at Atlanta, Georgia, Hotel
ATLANTA, GA. – According to an online news report posted at wsbtv.com, authorities have confirmed an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Officials have tied more than 60 suspected cases of the illness to the Sheraton hotel in downtown Atlanta, including one case in which a woman tragically died from the illness.*
The Georgia Department of Health has confirmed, according to WSB-TV, that a woman who stayed at the Sheraton in Atlanta tragically died from coronary artery atherosclerosis aggravated by Legionella pneumonia. The woman fell ill while staying at the hotel for a function, according to the report. The woman’s father said she told him she was having stomach and intestinal issues before her death.
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila. The bacterium is found in water systems, including drinking water, cooling towers, humidifiers, and hot tubs. Most commonly, sources of the disease are water systems in large buildings, like hospitals and hotels. About 10,000 to 18,000 people contract the illness in the U.S. every year, and the disease can be fatal if not promptly diagnosed and properly treated.
Officials have confirmed 12 cases of Legionnaires’ disease by way of lab tests, all tied to the Sheraton in Atlanta. They also suspect that 61 additional cases will test positive for the illness, and those cases are also tied to the hotel. The hotel closed in response to the outbreak and said it would remain closed until August 11 while the bacteria source was being identified. No information about the definitive cause of exposure at the hotel has been reported.
The hotel released a statement saying that it had been working with health officials and that the safety and health of its guests was its top priority. No additional information has yet been reported.
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