Aug 15, 2019

Largest Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Georgia Occurs at Hotel

One person has died of Legionnaires’ disease and 11 other cases have been confirmed

One person has died of Legionnaires’ disease and 11 other cases have been confirmed

The largest recorded Legionella outbreak in the state of Georgia has been recorded at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.

Sheraton Atlanta Hotel General Manager Ken Peduzzi said in a statement that, "a thorough cleaning of the hotel's entire water distribution system has been completed as a precautionary measure, including cleaning, scrubbing and chlorination of all water features," according to CNN.

In 2016, water management issues was cited as one of the main causes of Legionnaires’ outbreak. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection contracted by inhaling small droplets of water that contain Legionella bacteria.

According to CNN, a lawsuit was filed Monday, Aug. 12, against the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel on behalf of a man who visited the hotel during the outbreak. Nancy Nydam, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Public Health, said one person has died of Legionnaires’ disease and 11 other cases have been confirmed after stays or visits to the hotel between June 12 and June 15. 

Margo Jakobs and her husband, David, visited their son when she contracted Legionnaires’ at the hotel, according to KWQC

"We went down to the front desk and they told us we needed to evacuate the hotel and that they sent us an email, but they had not," she said, according to KWQC

Jakobs and her husband stayed for two nights before they were rebooked at another hotel, according to KWQC

Nydam said there have been 63 probable cases. According to CNN, “probable cases are those who have symptoms of the disease but have not yet had a laboratory test to confirm it. Last week, there were 61 probable cases.”

Peduzzi said to CNN Aug. 12, “the hotel does not comment on legal matters." Peduzzi said in a separate statement that the hotel is waiting on more test results before announcing a reopening date. 

"During our closure, we have been working closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health, Fulton County Board of Health and environmental experts to conduct testing to ensure there is no threat of Legionella infection," Peduzzi wrote in a statement on Facebook.

expand_less