Sheraton Atlanta Hotel Closed Until Further Notice Due to Legionnaires’ Disease

Guests of the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel property on Courtland Street Northeast complained about lung problems after a convention which occurred a couple of weeks ago, which has caused the hotel property to close for business until further notice while guests were relocated to other hotel properties.

Sheraton Atlanta Hotel Closed Until Further Notice Due to Legionnaires’ Disease

At least three cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported by guests who stayed at the hotel property, according to this message which was posted on Twitter by Lori Wilson of WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta.

“Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a bacterium known as legionella”, according to this article from the Mayo Clinic. “You can’t catch legionnaires’ disease from person-to-person contact. Instead, most people get legionnaires’ disease from inhaling the bacteria. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to legionnaires’ disease.”

Prevention of legionnaires’ disease requires meticulous cleaning and disinfection of water systems, pools and spas.

Also, avoiding smoking is the single most important thing you can do to lower your risk of infection, as smoking increases the chances that you will develop legionnaires’ disease if you’re exposed to legionella bacteria.

“Showerheads, hot tubs, perhaps even some outbreaks in the past have been associated with decorative fountains,” according to Cherie Drenzek — who is the epidemiologist of the state of Georgia and is currently investigating this issue with the Fulton County Board of Health, the hotel property, and environmental specialists — in this article from the aforementioned television station. “They have a beautiful swimming pool and it’s shut down right now. They say they’re working on the filtration system. Maybe they haven’t made the linkage.”

Summary

Management and employees of hotel and resort properties must continuously take the utmost care in keeping Legionella out of water systems in buildings, as that is key to preventing infection.

“About one in 10 people who gets sick from Legionnaires’ disease will die”, according to this article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “Health departments reported about 6,100 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States in 2016. However, because Legionnaires’ disease is likely underdiagnosed, this number may underestimate the true incidence.

In the meantime, seek alternative lodging arrangements if you plan on staying in Atlanta in the near future, as the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel property is closed until further notice.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.


 

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4 thoughts on “Sheraton Atlanta Hotel Closed Until Further Notice Due to Legionnaires’ Disease”

  1. ptahcha says:

    Interestingly enough, the first mass instance of Legionnaires’ disease took place at now Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia, where a Legionnaire convention was taking place and many guests also got sick.

    One of my colleague’s wife had contracted it, presumably from a gym. She was in the ICU for almost 4 weeks.

  2. Elizabeth Jurenovich says:

    Please caution the hotel’s guests: the Sheraton emailed a letter to guests (i was one) which included an inaccurate link to the health department survey!?! (Hopefully, that wasn’t intentionsl?)

  3. Sandra Smith says:

    I received the letter and survey but did not fill it out yet as I was not past the incubation period. I think I want to get tested just in case. I travel a lot for business and every day I think about this popping up. I was there for 6 days during this time period. One would think that a corporation as big as Marriott would be more proactive with us. Quite frankly I have had a couple of times where I did not feel well. What would you do?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am not an expert on this, Sandra Smith, but whenever I ignore what my gut instinct tells me to do, I wind up regretting it.

      If you believe that you need to be tested because you have had a couple of times when you did not feel well, please do not take any chances and play with your health: get tested by trusted and reputable medical professionals so that you can at least get yourself some peace of mind — and if you are diagnosed with having contracted the legionella bacterium, get the proper treatment as soon as possible.

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