Fountain the source of Legionnaires’ disease at hotel - FOX 32 News Chicago

Fountain the source of Legionnaires’ disease at hotel

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The main fountain in the lobby of the JW Marriott in the Loop has been identified as the source of the disease that killed three people, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The fountain was the primary source of Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia, and has been removed from the lobby of the JW Marriott Chicago Hotel at 151 W. Adams St., according to a statement from the department.

Secondary sources for the disease "remain disabled or inaccessible to the public," the statement said. The department believes there is no further risk of illness at the hotel.

The department has confirmed 10 cases of the illness, with three deaths, according to the statement.

Legionella bacteria, which causes the disease, was found in samples taken from the fountain, the men's and women's locker rooms, and in the spa swimming pool and whirlpool, according to the statement. All of those locations are currently closed to the public.

The department confirmed three cases of the disease on Aug. 21 and the hotel was identified as the source.

People who stayed there between July 16 and Aug. 15, and are experiencing symptoms consistent with pneumonia, or who have been diagnosed with pneumonia, should contact a doctor to discuss or modify treatment, the department said.

The health department and Marriott have contacted most of the 8,500 guests who stayed at the hotel during that time period.

Legionnaires' disease is contracted by breathing in mist or vapors from water contaminated with the Legionella bacteria and usually develops two to 14 days after exposure. It frequently begins with headache, high fever and chills, and progresses by the second or third day to include a cough, chest pain and shortness of breath.

About 30 cases of the disease are reported per year in Chicago, the release said.

People who may have been exposed can contact the CDPH hotline at (312) 746-4835 Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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