A recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease at an Orlando hotel serves to remind us about this dangerous disease:
“The Orange County Health Department says two laboratory-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease are linked to the Quality Inn near Universal Studios. The hotel is in the International Drive tourist corridor, popular with tourists visiting nearby theme parks.
Officials believe the outbreak may have started in the hotel’s hot tub, which may not have been properly chlorinated.
At least two people were hospitalized as a result of the outbreak, Action News has learned, however no further information about their condition was available. They remain in a Pinellas County hospital. Pinellas County officials first alerted Orange County officials to the potential problem. The patients had stayed at the hotel within the last two weeks.”
According to the Mayo Clinic website:
“Legionnaires’ disease usually develops two to 14 days after exposure to the legionella bacteria. It frequently begins with the following signs and symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Fever that may be 104 F (40 C) or higher
If you have Legionnaires’ disease, by the second or third day, you’ll develop other signs and symptoms that may include:
- Cough, which may bring up mucus and sometimes blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Confusion or other mental changes”
It is usually contracted when a person inhales the bacteria into their lungs. Legionnaires’ Disease can lead to a number of fatal complications, such as respiratory failure, acute kidney failure, and septic shock, so it should be taken extremely seriously and be treated as soon as you suspect you have contracted it.
If you have any of the symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease, please see a medical professional immediately so that you can get started on the proper antibiotics. It is an easily treatable disease if caught quickly, but if you let it develop it could turn into a fatal problem.