Two cases of Legionnaires' disease reported from guests at Waco-area hotel

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Two cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported by guests who stayed at a Waco-area hotel this month, said Larry Holze, Public Information Officer for the City of Waco.

A control order has been issued for the Fairfield Inn and Suites Waco North located at 4257 N. Interstate 35 in Lacy Lakeview.

The hotel will be required to notify all guests and staff of the risk of the disease and all the health district to conduct an environmental investigation of the property.

During the investigation, the health district will identify possible risks of Legionella bacteria growth in the water system to determine any possible areas of contamination.

Holze said a direct source for the disease has not been determined as of July 26.

Last summer, the health district issued a control order on the same hotel due to a risk of the disease.

Holze said cases are often associated with large or complex water systems as Legionella can grow if a water system is not properly maintained. Other likely sources of infection include cooling towers for air conditioning systems, decorative fountains and hot tubs.

The infection is caused by breathing in the mist or vapor that contains the bacteria.

Legionnaires' disease is a form of pneumonia that is caused by the Legionella bacteria. The disease is not contagious and rarely spreads from person to person.

Holze said the risk of developing this disease is low, but those more at risk include the elderly, those who smoke and those who are at a higher risk of infection.

Symptoms of the disease include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches

The symptoms usually begin two to 14 days after being exposed.

Most cases of Legionella are antibiotics. Consult your doctor if you believe you have developed any of these symptoms.

For more information on the disease, click here.

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