2 Dead in Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Chicago
Two people have died as a result of a Legionnaires’ outbreak in a Chicago hotel. The downtown hotel, JW Marriott, has drained its pool, hot tub, fountain, and a portion of its spa in response to the deaths.
8 Confirmed Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease
According to CNN, there have been 8 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease among the guests that stayed at the JW Marriot. This includes the 2 deaths. The hotel is currently trying to contact guests who stayed at the hotel from July 16 through August 15 to warn them of the outbreak. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that as of Monday, 80% of the guests have been notified.
Chicago health officials believe that the Legionnaires’ disease threat is gone at the hotel. They recommend that anyone who stayed at the hotel and is experiencing flu like symptoms should contact a healthcare provider and get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Legionnaires’ Information and Symptoms
Information below provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized each year due to Legionnaires’ disease.
- The Legionella bacteria is usually found in water and it grows best in warm water.
- People become infected when they breathe in water mist or vapor that contains the bacteria. The disease is not spread from one person to the next.
- Symptoms are similar to many other forms of pneumonia, which includes high fever, chills, and coughing. Some people also suffer from muscle aches and headaches.
- Symptoms usually show up 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
- The disease can kill between 5% to 30% of those infected. Most cases, however, can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
- Older people (50 years or older) are most susceptible to the disease, as are smokers (current or former), and people with lung disease. People who have weak immune systems are also more likely of becoming infected than relatively healthy people.
- For more information, visit the CDC webpage on Legionnaires’ disease.
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