A Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at the Springhill Suites by Marriott in Altamonte Springs, Florida has sickened at least three people and potentially exposed thousands of others. The Seminole County Health Department is contacting every guest who has stayed at the hotel since since September 2014 to alert them to the dangers of the disease which can be fatal for those with weakened immune systems.
Legionnaires’ Disease causes pneumonia-like symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, confusion, aches and lung inflammation. Symptoms usually appear two to 14 hours after exposure.
Anyone who stayed at the hotel and has these symptoms should see a doctor right away and mention exposure to Legionella bacteria. The three guests who became ill are being treated.
People contract Legionnaires’ Disease by inhaling contaminated water mist from showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems. It cannot be transmitted from person to person. Possible sources of this outbreak are still under investigation.
All water systems at the hotel have since been sanitized with a shock treatment and the health department has cleared it to remain open.
Between 8,000 to 18,000 Americans are hospitalized each year with Legionnaires’ Disease. The condition is so-named because it was first discovered when an outbreak of pneumonia struck an American Legion convention in 1976.