Two die from Chicago Legionnaires disease outbreak

Legionellosis

Two deaths have been reported following a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a downtown Chicago Marriott hotel this summer, the Chicago Department of Public Health reported on Monday.

The deaths are in addition to six other cases of Legionnaires’ that were reported after the infected stayed at the JW Marriott at 141 W. Adams St. between mid-July and mid-August, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Three cases of the disease were first reported last week, when the hotel said that an estimated 65 percent of its 8,500 guests who stayed at the hotel from between July 16 and August 15 had been mailed letters about the outbreak.

By Monday, 80 percent of the guests were notified with efforts made to contact the remaining 20 percent, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Health Department said that there is “no ongoing health risk at the hotel” but that current guests are being informed of the outbreak. Additionally, Marriott has cooperated with the health department’s investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The hotel has taken steps to stop the disease, including draining its pool, whirlpool and fountain and closing parts of its spa. The Legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease is usually found in water.

Legionellosis can take two forms. Legionnaire’s disease is the more severe infection while Pontiac fever is caused by the same bacteria but results in a milder respiratory illness without pneumonia.

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