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Downtown Atlanta hotel closes after SIX guests are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease

Downtown Atlanta hotel closes after SIX guests are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease

  • Six guests who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel at the same time have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease
  • Legionnaires’ is a severe form of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria
  • It’s unclear if the guests became infected from the hotel itself, but it is closed so health officials can conduct testing 
  • Health officials are warning anyone who stayed at the hotel between June 12 and July 15 to monitor themselves for signs of infection

A hotel in downtown Atlanta has closed after six guests were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

Health officials said in a release that they don’t know if the guests at the Sheraton Atlanta on Courtland Street contracted the disease from the hotel itself.

Legionnaires’ is a severe form of pneumonia caused by inhaling water droplets containing legionella bacteria and, when left untreated, can cause fatal neurological complications.

Hotel management has relocated about 450 guests to nearby hotels and is in the process of rebooking several upcoming reservations. 

The Sheraton Atlanta (pictured) has closed for investigation after six guests who stayed there at the same time were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the first three cases were confirmed on Monday.

Tests were performed on possible areas of contamination such as shower heads and air conditioners, but the results haven’t returned yet. 

‘The health and safety of our guests is our greatest priority,’ the hotel’s general manager, Ken Peduzzi, said in a statement. 

‘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.’

Health officials are warning anyone who stayed at the hotel between June 12 and July 15 to monitor themselves for signs of infection.

Unlike other illnesses, which are transmitted through person-to-person contact, sufferers fall sick by inhaling small droplets of water with legionella bacteria.

The bacteria can multiply in places such as hot tubs, water tanks and large plumbing systems.

Symptoms develop between two and 10 days after inhaling legionella bacteria. The disease typically begins with a headache, chills, high fever, and muscle pain.

On the second or third day, symptoms progress to coughing, chest pain, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Between 10,000 and 18,000 Americans are infected each year.

Most people recover with antibiotics, but those with weakened immune systems or who have chronic lung diseases can form neurological complications that can be fatal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 people with the disease die.

Marriot Bonvoy, which owns Sheraton, did not immediately reply to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk