Sheraton Hotel of Atlanta Legionnaires’ Outbreak Reaches Illinois
STERLING, IL. – According to an online news story reported at wifr.com, the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease from Atlanta, Georgia, has reached Illinois. The report indicates that a woman from Sterling, Illinois, likely has the disease after having stayed at the downtown Atlanta hotel where the outbreak originated.*
Legionnaires’ disease is primarily contracted by breathing in contaminated water. It is a severe type of pneumonia that requires immediate medical attention. The outbreak came to light in mid-July, when the Sheraton Hotel of Atlanta closed after finding out that several of its guests had become ill with probable Legionnaires’ disease. Since then, numerous other cases have been confirmed and many more are suspected. A woman from Georgia who contracted the illness at the hotel reportedly died.
Georgia state health officials have confirmed at this point that the bacteria responsible for the disease was inside the hotel’s cooling tower and one of the hotel’s decorative fountains. County health inspectors have cleared the hotel to reopen after remediation efforts and said that they would continue to test the hotel’s water system to make sure it was safe.
A woman who lives in Illinois reports that she visited the hotel and then fell ill with symptoms that resembled Legionnaires’ disease. The woman said that the hotel was evacuated shortly into her stay there, and she felt like she should have been provided more information before scheduling her stay.
“The sicker I got … the worse I felt about, what is this,” the woman told reporters. “I don’t want to say we were blindsided, but I think they might’ve had some idea that there were cases, and had I known, I never would have stayed there. Never.”
No information has been uncovered indicating that the hotel knew about the bacteria and continued to book rooms.
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