Update 7/20/19 1 PM ET:
- The hotel is now reported to remain closed through August 11 after six cases of the disease have been discovered. Those with reservations are being relocated and receiving full refunds.
- The hotel said it is working with environmental consultants to collect water samples from the pool, hot tub, fountain and chillers to determine the source of the legionella bacteria. The Georgia Department of Public Health and the Fulton County Board of Health have also been called in to assist in the investigation.
- The employees of the hotel are already working at other properties and the hotel will be hosting an offsite town hall to update them on the situation and help with temporary employment opportunities.
- “At this time it remains unknown if the source of the exposure is located within the hotel,” the hotel said in a statement. “We are hoping to limit work disruption while the hotel is closed and keep Sheraton Atlanta’s associates gainfully employed.”
Original Story 7/16/19 11:02 AM ET:
A hotel in downtown Atlanta closed its doors after three guests came down with a rare disease.
What We Know:
- Three guests who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel contracted Legionnaire’s disease.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes Legionnaire’s disease as a serious type of pneumonia. Legionella bacteria, found in lakes and streams, causes the illness when it grows in man-made water systems.
- Symptoms of the disease include fever, muscle aches, chills, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and coughing. About 1 out of every 10 people who contract Legionnaire’s disease will die due to complications from the illness.
- This is a rare disease, only about 7,104 cases were reported last year.
- Ken Peduzzi, general manager of Sheraton Atlanta, stated, “The health and safety of our guests is our greatest priority. We are working closely with public health officials and outside experts to conduct testing to determine if Legionella is present at the hotel. As a result, out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to close the hotel while we await the results.”
- Fox 5 reported state health officials are working with the Fulton County Board of Health and hotel staff to find the source of the outbreak.
- The hotel will remain closed until a full investigation is complete.
Hopefully, officials get down to the bottom of this outbreak.