Legionnaires’ Disease Deaths At 3 In Outbreak Traced To JW Marriott Chicago Hotel

The JW Marriott hotel in Chicago. Three deaths have now been traced back to a Legionnaires’ outbreak at the hotel.

A third death has been reported in the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a high-end hotel in downtown Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports that, according to an Irish newspaper, Thomas Keane, 66, was visiting Chicago from his native Ireland when he dined at the JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., with his wife in July.

Keane, a retired plumber, and his wife were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on the trip.

Health officials on Friday also announced two new confirmed cases of the illness, which victims thus far identified in the outbreak contracted while staying at the hotel between July 16 and Aug. 15, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Health officials also identified the source of the bacterial disease’s outbreak: the decorative fountain located in the hotel’s lobby, according to ABC Chicago.

The fountain has since been removed from the hotel’s lobby and other areas found to have contained the same bacteria — including the hotel’s pool, spa whirlpool and men’s and women’s locker rooms — have been “disabled or made inaccessible to the public,” the Tribune reports.

Last month, the city announced three cases of the fast-spreading, sometimes fatal Legionnaire’s disease. The bacteria spread through the inhalation of contaminated water vapor, causing a severe form of pneumonia.

In response to the news, the hotel issued a warning to all recent guests, and began the complicated process of notifying the 8,500 guests who stayed there in recent months.

The outbreak was previously responsible for two deaths of guests of the hotel.

Health officials noted that there “is no ongoing public health risk” at the hotel, according to CBS Chicago.

Symptoms of the disease include headache, chills, chest pain and fever. A hotline has been set up by Chicago Department of Public Health to answer questions from people who may have been exposed at (312) 746-4835.

Original article at: The Huffington Post

Guest Who Stayed at Luxor Dies of Legionnaires’ Disease

Three guests at the Luxor have contracted Legionnaires’ disease since last spring, including one who recently died as a result, the Southern Nevada Health District announced today.

The other two cases were not fatal, health district officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted the health district about each case of the disease, which causes respiratory illness.

The first two cases occurred in spring 2011, prompting the health district to collect bulk water samples from the Luxor for an environmental assessment, officials said.

The water samples did not detect Legionella bacteria, indicating the resort’s water did not pose an increased risk to guests for contracting the disease, officials said. Both patients fully recovered.

The CDC reported the third case, which was fatal, to the health district Jan. 6, officials said. The patient stayed at the Luxor in December and contracted the disease later that month, said Brian Labus, a senior epidemiologist at the health district.

The CDC has not released the patient’s name or when he or she died, Labus said.

The health district began another environmental investigation after the death, that found Luxor water samples positive for Legionella bacteria, officials said.

Gordon Absher, vice president of public affairs for MGM Resorts International, said authorities immediately began remediation — super-heating and super-chlorinating water to kill the bacteria — when health district officials notified the resort last week.

Luxor completed remediation for a 400-room water loop, where the deceased guest had stayed, within a day, Absher said. A voluntary remediation for the rest of the hotel will be completed within 10 days, he said.

“We take this very seriously,” Absher said. “Health of our guests and our employees is of paramount importance to MGM Resorts.”

The Luxor also formed a monitoring plan to prevent another cluster from occurring, Labus said, calling the resort very cooperative in the process.

Chlorine and other water treatments typically kill Legionella bacteria, a common form found in water, but large buildings are at risk for the bacteria becoming established in the pipe system and growing, Labus said.

No other cases have been reported so far, authorities said.

Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia, can cause high fever, chills, cough and occasional muscle aches and headaches, officials said. Symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

Health officials said most people exposed to the bacteria do not get sick, but people who are elderly, have chronic illnesses, a compromised immune system or respiratory disease are at higher risk.

Luxor guests possibly experiencing symptoms should contact their doctors, health officials said. MGM officials also created a website (luxorfacts.com) for more information.

Last year, health officials linked six cases of Legionnaires’ disease to Aria, where all the patients had stayed as guests. All six people fully recovered.

Aria officials alerted guests who stayed there from June 21 to July 4 of their possible exposure to the bacteria. Water tests had detected elevated levels of the bacteria in several guest rooms.

“Legionnaires’ is something we have to live with,” Absher said. “It’s in everyone’s homes. It’s here…We feel we are industry leaders in the way we go after this issue.”

MGM Resorts has started installing secondary water treatment systems in all its hotels, Absher said. The first one is installed and operating at Aria, he said.

“It’s yet another investment in how we protect guest safety,” Absher said.

Original article at: lasvegassun.com

Ocean City Hotel Works to Reopen after Legionnaires’ Disease Cases

OCEAN CITY — The hotel where health officials say several people contracted Legionnaires’ disease will consult with a water systems expert and have regular water testing done by the Worcester Health Department when it reopens in the spring.

The Plim Plaza Hotel, which closed for the season a few days early this fall after some of its guests developed Legionnaires’ disease, has been required by the health department to consult with a water expert to develop a plan for treating its water before it reopens in April 2012.

“We’ll be monitoring the effectiveness of the plan,” said Debra Stevens, nursing program manager at the Worcester County Health Department. “This is an ongoing investigation.”

When it opens in the spring, the oceanfront hotel will have its water tested regularly for about six months.

Plim Plaza spokeswoman Betsy FauntLeRoy said the hotel has worked closely with the health department since the bacteria was discovered in its water pipes and hired a water expert.

“We had remediation done,” she said. “All the bacteria has been cleared from the building; everything is good to go.”

She said an exact source of the bacteria had not been determined.

“The source is unclear, but we did everything in our power to clean out every pipe and drain,” she said.

The Plim Plaza Hotel closed after three guests developed Legionnaires’ disease in September. Once it closed, four more guests contracted the disease, which can show up between two and 14 days after exposure to the Legionella bacteria. One of the seven sickened, an elderly out-of-state hotel guest, died.

Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia, has symptoms similar to the flu including a high fever, cough and shortness of breath. People develop the illness after exposure to the Legionella bacteria, which is common in the environment, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It is spread by the release of small droplets of contaminated water into the air from sources including air conditioning cooling towers, showers and humidifiers. People get sick when they inhale infected droplets; the disease is not spread by person-to-person contact.

Original article at: delmarvanow.com