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2 Legionnaires’ cases reported involving guests at hotel

December 20, 2018

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Health officials suspect that a suburban St. Louis hotel’s water supply may be to blame after two unrelated guests were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said late Wedneday that it and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning recent guests of the Marriott St. Louis West hotel in western St. Louis County that they could have been exposed.

Guests who stayed there in October and November were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

Preliminary testing was positive for Legionella germs in the hotel’s cooling tank, which is used for showers and drinking water, the state health department said. An investigation continues.

The disease got its name from a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in which 34 people died. Symptoms are similar to pneumonia — cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, headaches, sometimes confusion, nausea or diarrhea.

Former guests at the St. Louis County hotel who develop symptoms are encouraged to seek medical help and take steps to alert the state health department.

In 2015, three guests at a hotel in Hannibal, Missouri, became ill and one died after exposure to Legionnaires’ disease.

In Illinois, the state has launched a $230 million plan to redevelop the Illinois Veteran’s Home in Quincy over concerns about water infected with the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Outbreaks at the home have occurred every year since 2015 and 14 people have died.

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